Page last updated at 14:58 GMT, Monday, 17 November 2008

Wheels keep drug dog on the move

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Max the police drugs dog was given a special chariot to help him walk after suffering from arthritis

A police dog in Somerset which had to retire due to arthritic hips can walk again thanks to a special chariot.

Max, a former police drugs dog, could barely get about and there were fears that he would have to be put down.

A Taunton-based police charity, set up specifically to help retired police dogs, paid for the two-wheeled buggy that helps take his weight.

The springer spaniel, now almost 10-years-old, started to develop arthritis and hip dysplasia two years ago.

Max is looked after by serving police inspectors Anne Higgins and Mike Ashwin at their home on the Somerset and Devon border.

'Quality of life'

Insp Mike Ashwin, of Avon and Somerset police, said: "We were able to find these wheels and that's given him back a great quality of life.

"You can see how happy he is and it is all about Max.

"It's about his quality of life and we hope that continues far into the future. There is life in the old dog yet as they say."

Insp Anne Higgins, of Devon and Cornwall police, said: "He had a part to play in putting many criminals away so we do have a duty to him."

The chariot is a two-wheeled buggy and is attached to Max by "pants" made from material normally used for wetsuits.

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