Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hampshire fire dog sisters retire after 18 years service

Saxon and Inca Image copyright Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Inca and Saxon will live at the home of their handler and his wife

Two Hampshire fire investigation dogs have retired after helping secure convictions against "dozens" of criminals.

Saxon, 11, and her sister Inca, ten, have worked with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service for a total of 18 years.

The two Labradors have attended more than 500 incidents and helped convict criminals.

Graham Howlett, the dogs' handler, said: "It's a pleasure to work with such talented lovely-natured dogs.

"I'm so proud of what they have achieved.

Image copyright Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Graham Howlett said Saxon (pictured) and her sister were "talented lovely-natured dogs"

"We have done jobs where the evidence they have found has been instrumental in getting a conviction."

In 2010, both dogs identified an ignitable fluid at a house fire, showing that petrol had been poured through the letterbox.

The man responsible was jailed for endangering life.

Fire investigation dogs are trained to work out how fires started by using their sense of smell to hunt for traces of the flammable liquids used to start fires.

Image copyright Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Inca has worked with the fire service for eight years

The dogs are able to smell one drop of petrol as far away as the length of a football pitch.

Saxon has been with the service for more than ten years while Inca, her younger sister, has served eight years.

Graham and his wife Jo are to take in the two dogs for their retirement.

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