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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 August 2007, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
Police dog saves collapsed woman
Police dog Jake
Jake was taken in by a dog rescue centre as a puppy
A police dog has been hailed a hero for helping save a missing woman's life in South Tyneside.

Jake, a German Shepherd, found the 39-year-old collapsed unconscious in bushes just an hour after she was reported missing from her home.

Handler Pc Alistair Cairnie-Coates said the dog's efforts helped prevent a "terrible" situation from developing.

The woman, who is now recovering, was found close to Harton Cemetery, in South Shields, on Sunday night.

'Deeply hidden'

Pc Cairnie-Coates, of Northumbria Police, said: "The fact the woman was found so quickly undoubtedly saved her life, as she was so deeply hidden you could barely tell she was there.

"And Jake knew he'd done well because he sensed the sheer feeling of relief that we all had when this woman was eventually located.

"If she had been found much later there could have been terrible consequences."

Jake was just seven-weeks-old when he was found tied to a lamppost after being abused by youths with fireworks.

The now three-year-old was taken in by a dog rescue centre before qualifying for Northumbria Police just before his first birthday.

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