Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire police dog's career saved by cataract operation

Ozzy the police dog
Image caption Police dog Ozzy sniffs out contraband drugs, weapons and cash

A police dog's career has been saved after his bosses agreed to pay more than £3,000 for a cataract operation.

Ozzy's problems came to light when handler PC Paul Huggett noticed a "blue tinge" in his eyes.

Cataracts were diagnosed by a vet but police decided to "give him a chance" and sanctioned the expensive treatment.

PC Huggett said without the operation, Ozzy would have had to retire from his job tracking down contraband drugs, weapons and cash.

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The dog has now returned to work and on his first assignment found "50 rocks of crack cocaine in Peterborough".

Ozzy, who is eight, is part of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire dog unit and is based in Alconbury, Cambridgeshire.

'See where he's going'

Cataracts are cloudy patches that develop in the lens of the eye and can cause blurred or misty vision. If untreated the condition is likely to deteriorate.

PC Huggett, who has had Ozzy since the dog was six months old, said: "[Police dogs] use their nose to search, but Ozzy still needs to see where he's going.

Image caption Handler PC Paul Huggett has had Ozzy since the dog was six months old

"We had a meeting with the bosses and it was decided we would give him a chance.

"He's a very good dog, he's a natural searcher."

Image caption PC Huggett says that when Ozzy retires he will stay with his family as a pet

The cost of the procedure was in excess of £3,000.

Specialist Newmarket-based vets Dick White Referrals carried out the operation and nursed Ozzy back to health.

"We did a lot of research about where he should go to get the best care and aftercare," PC Huggett said.

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