Page last updated at 17:43 GMT, Monday, 24 November 2008

Police dog is Christmas cracker

Fern will be the first in Tayside to sniff out wildlife poisons

Tayside Police have been given an early Christmas present - an eight-week old spaniel named Fern.

The puppy, who was given to the force by a breeder in the Scottish Borders, will be trained to detect poisons and money.

This will be the first time Tayside Police has had a poisons dog and she will help detect wildlife crimes.

Fern's initial training will involve getting used to new places and people before the hard work really begins.

Pc Ron Anderson, the force's dog training instructor, said: "Amongst other things, she will be deployed alongside wildlife officers, sniffing out where poisonous substances have been illegally used.

"She will also be trained to sniff out cash and will play a role in helping officers locate money during searches of vehicles, people, and properties.

''Fern is only eight-weeks old so at the moment it's about familiarisation and socialisation, getting her used to different places and meeting new people.

"Whilst she definitely has the 'cuteness' factor at the moment, she is no different to any other police dog. All of our dogs are a vital resource when it comes to preventing and detecting crime, whilst at the same time maintaining public order.''

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