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Baloo is a Belgian Malinois who was born in Amsterdam and became a police dog with Essex Police in 2018 after successfully completed her training.
She enjoyed working alongside her handler, PC Ross Ashcroft, catching criminals and helping to keep people safe.
Sadly, in October 2018, Baloo’s career as a police dog was prematurely ended when she was hit by the car being driven by a suspected criminal as they fled a crime scene.
Sadly, Baloo’s injuries were so severe that she needed metal plates screwed into both sides of her pelvis and her front leg amputated.
This meant Baloo was no longer able to be a police dog and PC Ashcroft made the very tough decision to rehome Baloo.
“It was one of the hardest decisions I had to make, but I had to do what was best for Baloo” said PC Ashcroft.
“When you’re a dog handler, the dog you work with isn’t just your work partner, they become part of your family.
“I knew I couldn’t give Baloo the care and dedication she not only needed, but deserved, especially as I’d be training and working with a new dog.
“Even though it was heart-breaking for me and my family, we knew it was the best thing for Baloo.”
Baloo was adopted by Mandy and Victoria and, with their support, began to adjust to life following her traumatic experience.
Mandy is a retired Dog Handler who worked for the Metropolitan Police Service so has lots of experience when it comes to dogs.
Thanks to Mandy, Victoria and the team at Writtle University College, Baloo has gone from strength to strength.
Baloo’s story struck a chord with everyone who had heard about what happened.
When people met her, they were often inspired by just how much resilience and determination she had shown throughout her ongoing recovery.
Mandy started receiving requests from police officers, staff, and volunteers from across Essex Police, who wanted to meet Baloo and hear her story.
“We found that people really enjoyed getting a visit from Baloo” said Mandy.
“People would tell me how much better they’d feel after spending some time with Baloo and that she gave them the lift they needed.”
Baloo was adopted as the official mascot for Essex Police and continued to carry out welfare visits to teams across the police force.
But Baloo’s work didn’t stop with Essex Police. Baloo and Mandy began to work with the wider community extending their visits to local schools and community groups too.
With Mandy’s help, Baloo uses what happened to her to help others. She teaches people about overcoming adversity and never giving up, staying strong and being kind.
We’re very lucky that Baloo remains an integral part of the Essex Police family. She still helps people living in Essex; it’s just in a different way to how she started her career with us.
Here are some fun pictures of Baloo to colour in! Just click on the link and print.