‘Exceptional’ sniffer dog remembered by Nottinghamshire police

A popular sniffer dog who became the scourge of drug dealers and violent criminals across Nottinghamshire has died.

Sunday, 10th October 2021, 9:33 am
Updated Sunday, 10th October 2021, 9:33 am

Mij, an English Springer Spaniel, joined Nottinghamshire Police as a puppy and served for more than nine years with the force.

In that time he sniffed out many thousands of pounds’ worth of drugs, took guns and ammunition of the streets, and even helped to police the 2012 London Olympics.

After enjoying a happy retirement with new owners, Mij passed away on Tuesday at the grand old age of 17-and-a-half.

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His former handler, retired PC Stu Hazard, said: “Like a lot of Spaniels Mij was absolutely crazy.

"He really wasn’t the most obedient dog at all – but he was absolutely stunning at what he was trained to do, which was to sniff out drugs, cash, firearms and ammunition.

“Over the years we spent together he sniffed out probably hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of drugs – in cars, in houses and even in dark fields.

"He was that good as a sniffer dog that it was pretty much impossible to hide anything from him.

“People would try to hide drugs in all sorts of places – in car door panels, inside gearstick housing, in plug sockets and under floorboards, but Mij would find them every single time.

“I remember one search we did at a garage where somebody had tried to hide a bag of drugs in a big tub of coffee.

“They clearly assume that the smell of the coffee would mask the smell of the drugs, but the thing with police dogs is they are trained only to sniff out a limited number of scents and they really aren’t interest in anything else.

"They also do it all for a tennis ball.”

For many years of this service Mij worked alongside PC Hazard’s former general purpose police dog Razor, who passed away earlier in the year.

PC Hazard added: “I used to see Mij regularly right up to the end his life. He really was a special dog and I was very sad to hear of his death.

"But I also felt a huge amount of pride at the things we had done together.”

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