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Last Updated: Tuesday March 31 2009 07:36 GMT

Lifeguard dog dodges beach ban

Bilbo on the beach

Check out Bilbo in action

A lifeguard dog that was banned from a Cornish beach will be back on duty this summer after hundreds of people signed a petition to get him back.

Normal dogs are banned from a beach in Cornwall, but Newfoundland lifeguard dog Bilbo got round that by sitting in his owner's beach buggy during patrols.

But when officials decided that wasn't safe, Bilbo was banned too.

Now about 1,500 people have signed a petition to get him classed as a working dog to see him back on patrol.

Bilbo the rescue dog
Bilbo swims out with a rescue float to help swimmers in trouble

If he wasn't an official working dog, Bilbo's lifeguard owner Steve Jamieson would be fined £75 every time Bilbo was spotted on the beach.

The six-year-old dog had to pass special fitness and swimming tests before he was allowed to become Cornwall's first beach rescue dog three years ago.

His water-resistant coat and webbed paws come in very handy for the work and he's even got his own lifeguard vest.