Police dog wins Crufts award for saving a life in Corby

PC Lucy Sculthorpe and PD HarperPC Lucy Sculthorpe and PD Harper
PC Lucy Sculthorpe and PD Harper
A retired police dog was reunited with her handler at Crufts

A retired police dog who helped save a life was reunited with her handler at Crufts to receive a special humanitarian award.

PD Harper, a German Shepherd, and PC Lucy Sculthorpe were given the award at Crufts at the NEC in Birmingham.

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PC Sculthorpe and Harper saved a man in the Corby area and were hailed as heroes.

Sergeant Chris Monday from Northamptonshire Police’s Force Dog Section nominated Lucy and Harper for the award and said: "Without the assistance of you and PD Harper the missing person would have certainly died."

The man had told his family he was going on a walk, but had not returned home.

PC Sculthorpe said: "This was a rural setting, so there was potentially a large area to cover, and the family said they had already looked down a pathway he was known to use.

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"Harper and I decided to go down there. It was about 1am and pitch black, and I didn't want to put my torch on for fear of scaring the man.

"I also didn’t want other officers with me because I really wanted Harper to be able to concentrate on picking up the scent."

Harper was on a 25-foot long tracking line and was roaming to try and pick up a scent. About half way down the path her tail came up straight and she twitched her ears.

PC Sculthorpe said: "I then issued the 'Find Him' order and a short distance away she found a man."

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Thanks to Harper finding the man, PC Sculthorpe could then give him first aid and he went on to make a full recovery.

The award is not Harper's first, she won the K9 Memorial medal in February after she retired at the end of last year.

Harper retired in November with bicep tendonitis, prompting Chief Constable Nick Adderley to say: "Thank you for your service PD Harper. You will be missed but will always be a part of our policing family."

PC Sculthorpe said she never felt safer at work than when she had Harper with her but is now working with a new PD, Bryn.

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PC Sculthorpe said: "It is a shame she had to retire through injury at the peak of her working life but she is very happy in her new home in Derbyshire with another dog to play with and seems be enjoying the relaxed life!

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