Shining a light on our Animal Welfare Scheme
The Animal Welfare Scheme is run by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex. The PFCC co-ordinates a team of volunteers who observe and report of the conditions under which Essex police dogs are trained, transported, deployed and cared for.
Working together with the Dogs Trust and following its guidelines, our visitors carry out one visit a month and write up reports after each visit about the dogs they have seen. The number of police dogs is always changing but it’s always in the range of 30 to 40 dogs.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst said: “I am hugely grateful for the invaluable contribution made by our volunteers in providing services and support for the county. The welfare of our police dogs is paramount, they do an amazing job keeping us all safe. Thank you to everyone involved in the Animal Welfare Scheme for providing the independent assurance of the high standards we hold ourselves to.”
Our Animal Welfare Scheme volunteers are members of public who have selflessly dedicated their time to the scheme. We currently have three volunteers, with two new ones joining the team very soon. They love the work that they do and ensure that the dogs receive the highest standards of welfare while serving on behalf of the force.
Kasia Grabka, our Animal Welfare Scheme Manager looks after the volunteers. She said: “Our Essex Animal Welfare Scheme has been established to provide scrutiny over the care and treatment of Essex Police dogs. Our visitors are making sure that all procedures followed are ethical, humane and in the full light of transparency, in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
“Whilst other PFCC schemes continued to adapt as Covid guidance changed, our scheme remained unchanged. Since AWS visits take place outdoors it means that scheme could operate as normal over the last year to provide additional reassurance and increase Essex citizen’s confidence that police dogs are being well cared of.
“Our brilliant volunteers carry out an important role. They all have a wealth of experience with animals and own a small army of pets at home too! I am very grateful for them and the work they do. They are always welcomed when visiting the police dog kennels and despite the scrutiny aspect of the role, they have formed a positive relationship with police dog handlers and always have time to pet the new police puppies!’’
Check out some of the new Essex Police dog recruits who are currently in training below.
Page updated on the 22/02/2023