'He has left a huge hole in mine and my family’s hearts': Heartbreak as retired police dog dies

Bear joined South Yorkshire Police in 2019.

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The handler of a retired police dog has shared his heartache after the death of his beloved friend.

RPD Bear sadly passed away, just three years after his retirement from the force. His handler, and owner, PC Matt Aris, said: "I am forever grateful to Bear for his service and the protection he offered me while at work and I wanted to ensure his retirement was everything he deserved.

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"His retirement was not as long as we hoped for and we unfortunately had to make the hard decision to have Bear put to sleep, which broke all our hearts.

"He lived his best retirement, long walks, swimming which he loved in summer, and cuddles by the fire in winter. He has left a huge hole in mine and my family’s hearts.”

RPD Bear joined South Yorkshire Police in 2019 and formed an inseperable bond with PC Aris. Bear proved popular with South Yorkshire residents, often being seen on the force's Facebook and Twitter pages catching criminals in action or finding people and property.

Unfortunately, in 2020, Bear failed to "re-license" as a police dog and the decision was made that he would retire.

Due to the bond he had created, RPD Bear continue to live with PC Aris and his family, which included South Yorkshire Police dogs Luna and Dexter.