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January 20, 2005
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Safety boots for police dogs

A police force is believed to have become the first in the UK to issue its dogs with safety boots, it was disclosed today.

Northumbria Police have introduced the special footwear for when their dogs tackle public order situations.

The boots will protect their paws from being harmed by broken glass and other sharp objects littering the streets.

Such a risk has prevented dogs being deployed to any disturbances in the past.

Now they can wear special protective boots, allowing them to walk across any surface safely.

Made by Hampshire-based Canine Spirit, the footwear is called Bark `N? Boots.

They are available in three sizes and are flexible with a hardwearing sole that grips the surface.

Public order instructor Pc Alex McLeod said, "We are now leading the way when it comes to the safety of officers and our four-legged colleagues."

There have certainly been occasions where dogs couldn't be deployed because they would be at risk of injuring their paws.

As far as we are aware, no other force provides protection for their dogs in this way during public order situations.

The boots are also of benefit, for example, when an officer is searching premises for a suspect after a burglary.

There is often glass on the floor but now the dog can safely be used in the search." Dog handlers are also getting new equipment with specially designed shields while officers on horseback have individual tailor made protection suits.

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