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Thousands sign petition to keep police dog with her soon-to-be retired handler

More than 24,000 people have signed a petition to keep four-year-old Ivy with her handler Sergeant David Evans of West Mercia Police.

Sgt Evans is due to retire after 34 years working on the Dog Section for West Mercia but as most police dogs work until they are eight, he is expected to hand over his beloved Malinois-German Shepherd cross to a new handler upon retirement. The petition is asking West Mercia Police to allow Ivy to retire at the same time and continue to live at the family home where she has lived since she was nine months old.

Sgt Evans' daughter, Jennie Evans, has set up a petition page on behalf of her father and states on the page, "In this time they have spent every day together and have created a special and unique bond with one another. It is truly something you have to see to believe.

"Before joining the Police Force Ivy had already had two previous homes, with us she was able to finally be in a loving home where she could settle into a routine when she wasn't on duty. She now loves nothing more than her endless walks around the fields with Dave."

Jennie also adds that she and her family believe separating Ivy from her loving home will cause her distress. Sgt Evans has even offered to buy Ivy or cover the expenses of another dog to replace her, but this offer has reportedly been refused according to the petition page.

In response to this, West Mercia Police released a statement on their Facebook page on Sunday, "Chief Constable Anthony Bangham has been made aware of this for the first time at home this morning. He recognises the unique bond between an officer and his dog and has made a direct offer to speak to the officer personally about this."

Credit: Jennie Evans/Facebook