Tributes after award-winning police dog dies
PUBLISHED: 15:28 03 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:58 03 January 2020
An award-winning retired police dog who served in Norfolk for eight years has died.
Norfolk and Suffolk's Police Dog Unit announced that RPD Reiker had "passed away peacefully in his sleep" on Monday, December 30, 2019, aged 10.
He served in the West Norfolk area from 2011 until his retirement in February 2019, and remained with his handler after being with her since he was an eight-week-old puppy.
RPD Reiker - described by police as a "top thief-taker" - won a Norfolk Safer Community Award (NOSCA) along with handler PC Emma Grosvenor in 2014 after he found a wanted person hiding in a kitchen cupboard.
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Norfolk and Suffolk's Police Dog Unit said: "We are sad to announce RPD Reiker passed away peacefully in his sleep on December 30, aged 10. He was with his handler from the tender age of eight weeks and remained with his handler after retirement.
"He served with us from 2011 until February 2019 and was a top thief-taker. #RIPReiker."
Hundreds paid tribute to "wonderful and amazing" Reiker on social media, with many commenters thanking the four-legged hero for his many years of service.
Countess Bathurst said: "I'm so sorry. My thoughts are with Reiker and his family. How proud they must be and we all thank him for his part in keeping us safe, as we do his handler. RIP lad."
Sally K said: "Losing a fur baby, regardless as to whether they were a pet or working animals, knows pain when they cross the rainbow bridge. Thank you for your service, glad you got to enjoy a retirement with your alpha. Run free RPD Reiker."
Garry Barratt said: "Nice to acknowledge the devotion to duty of a wonderful and amazing dog. Best wishes to the handler on such a big loss. Replacement is a requirement but the memory and friendship will never fade, for your handler and the force."