Beds, Herts & Bucks

Watford neck-break police dog Nero recovering after chasing thieves

Nero (r) and friend Daz Image copyright BCH Police Dogs
Image caption Police dog Nero (r), pictured with Daz, broke his neck in two places chasing suspected criminals

A police dog that broke its neck in two places while chasing suspected muggers is expected to make a full recovery, officers have said.

German Shepherd Nero, six, jumped over railings in Watford which, unknown to his handler, had a 12ft (3.5m) drop on the other side. He "landed badly".

A little over a week later, Nero is expected to return home this weekend.

"Given time, with the right rest and care, Nero should be able to make a full recovery," police said.

The dog was with handler PC Clive Warncken of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire dog unit, when the accident happened in the early hours of Thursday 21 July.

Nero had been called in to track four people, suspected of assaulting a woman aged in her 30s, before making off with her handbag.

Image copyright BCH Police Dogs
Image caption Nero's force has posted updates to social media

"Nero was immediately taken to a vet where it was discovered he had sustained two fractures to his neck," a police spokesman said.

"The next few days are crucial for Nero who was injured doing what he loved, servicing his community and tracking down baddies," the dog's unit wrote on Twitter.

Dozens of police forces and members of the public sent messages of support after seeing the post shortly after Nero's accident.

Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter
Image copyright Twitter

"Nero has been examined by an expert and a treatment plan, primarily consisting of rest and medication, has been devised. He will be closely monitored and, given time, with the right rest and care, Nero should be able to make a full recovery," a police spokesman said.

Sergeant Cray Birch from the BCH dog unit said they were "continuing to support his handler at this difficult time and wish Nero the fullest and speediest of recoveries."

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