Police dog Pablo recovering after life saving cancer surgery

Pablo, the retired police dog, has had livesaving surgery to remove a tumour in his stomach.

Pablo, the retired police dog, has had livesaving surgery to remove a tumour in his stomach. - Credit: The Thin Blue Paw Foundation

A retired police dog who helped uncover £1/4m worth of controlled drugs has undergone lifesaving surgery to remove a tumour.

Pablo, the 10-and-a-half-year-old cocker spaniel, was part of Norfolk and Suffolk's police dog unit for eight years as a drugs, cash and weapons recovery dog until his retirement in August 2019.

In his career as a police dog Pablo seized in the region of £250,000 of controlled drugs, cash as well as many firearms...

In his career as a police dog Pablo seized in the region of £250,000 of controlled drugs, cash as well as many firearms and ammunition. - Credit: Norfolk Police

His owners faced an estimated bill of £4,000 and have been supported by charity the Thin Blue Paw Foundation, which was set up last yet to help serving and retired police dogs with their medical bills.

Pablo's owner, who did not wish to be named, said he and his wife noticed something was not quite right around four weeks ago and after several visits to the vets, a tumour was discovered in Pablo's stomach.

He required specialist help and underwent surgery at Dick White Referrals, in Newmarket, on Tuesday and returned home on Friday. 

Pablo's owner, a serving police officer, said the grant from the charity had taken the pressure off.

In his career as a police dog Pablo seized in the region of £250,000 of controlled drugs, cash as well as many firearms...

In his career as a police dog Pablo seized in the region of £250,000 of controlled drugs, cash as well as many firearms and ammunition. - Credit: Supplied by Thin Blue Paw Foundation

He added: "Pablo has adjusted to retired life very well and now he loves nothing more than being made a fuss of at home with cuddles on the sofa. He enjoys long walks and his tennis ball." 

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As well as his love of tennis balls, Pablo has quite a dedicated social media presence, with 2,2286 followers on Instagram.

Sergeant James Stocking, of the police dog unit, said: "During a very productive career, RPD Pablo seized in the region of £250,000 of controlled drugs, cash as well as many firearms and ammunition.

The Thin Blue Paw Foundation have helped to cover Pablo's vet bill after he required lifesaving surgery.

The Thin Blue Paw Foundation have helped to cover Pablo's vet bill after he required lifesaving surgery. - Credit: Supplied by the Thin Blue Paw Foundation

"Thankfully with the fantastic and generous support from The Thin Blue Paw charity who helped fund his lifesaving operation at Newmarket, he's back on the road to recovery."

Since its launch last August, the Thin Blue Paw Foundation has given out 35 grants to police dogs across the country, including two dogs from Norfolk.

Charity trustee Kieran Stanbridge said many retired service dogs are not covered by insurance which can leave families having to face difficult decisions when they are hit with expensive vet bills.

He said: "They've done their duty and have served their country, they should be able to live a long and happy retirement.

"This month alone we have had £25,000 worth of claims coming through. They deserve to be rewarded and celebrated for their service. We want to help all the dogs get the retirement they deserve."