Devon

Devon and Cornwall Police puppy paddles into ranks

German shepherd Fred
Image caption Fred's joints eased up thanks to swimming sessions

A lame puppy's police career is back on track thanks to intensive hydrotherapy sessions.

Six-month-old German shepherd Fred was diagnosed with hip dysplasia, which meant he had trouble walking because of stiff joints.

But the Devon and Cornwall force put him on a course of swimming sessions and he has passed his assessment.

He is now one of eight puppies about to begin their training as police dogs with the force in January.

Sgt Paul Glennon said: "Fred's police dog career looked like it was over before it had begun.

"Fred was literally thrown in at the deep end and has worked hard to ease his stiff joints and build up the muscles in his legs.

"There is now no reason why he won't go on to become a successful police dog."

Fred joined the force through the Devon and Cornwall Police Puppy Scheme, which sees volunteers look after the puppies until they reach 12 months old, at which point they embark on an intensive 13-week training course.

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