Rescue dog joins police drug team in Suffolk

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Pc Neil Smith with Labrador Willow
Image caption,
Pc Neil Smith said Willow's training will begin straight away

A rescue dog has joined Suffolk Police as the force prepares to host the National Police Dog Trials in 2011.

Willow, an 18-month-old chocolate Labrador, will be trained as a drugs dog to search for illegal substances and quantities of cash.

She has been homed with dog handler Pc Neil Smith after being taken to Blue Cross adoption centre at Felixstowe by a family who could no longer keep her.

Pc Smith was keen to take on a recruit as his Spaniel, Spot, is due to retire.

He said: "She is a lovely dog, with a fantastic temperament.

"She is very alert and lively and I hope that she adapts well to the training she will undertake.

"Training will start straight away in the hope that we can both complete our in-house training programme in February."

Suffolk's team of 11 officers and 22 dogs have been chosen to host the 51st National Police Dog Trials at Trinity Park in Ipswich on 16 and 17 April.

The trials will be open to the public and will see the UK's most highly skilled and experienced handlers and dogs competing for an overall title, Suffolk Police said.

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