Trained police K-9 units often perform their duties with little or no fanfare, but some military and police dogs that excel at their jobs are worthy of public recognition.
One such example is a recently retired Scottish Police K-9, a German Shepherd named Luna, who has been credited with saving at least 38 lives over her eight-year career, the U.K. Express reported.
Luna and her handler, Police Scotland PC Linda McBride, were honored with the Lifesaver Award last week at an annual ceremony for an organization known as the Thin Blue Paw Foundation, which is focused on K-9 units in the United Kingdom.
A true Lifesaver
Thin Blue Paw announced that “retired police dog Luna has been named winner of the Lifesaver Award after saving 38 lives during her eight-year career with PC Linda McBride.”
“The Police Scotland pair were excellent at tracking, saving the lives of vulnerable missing people, elderly people, suicidal individuals, and victims of crime,” the organization added. “Ten-year-old German Shepherd Luna has now retired but will never be forgotten by the people she helped.”
The Lifesaver award received by Luna and McBride was just one of several categories for which awards are granted, which also include honors for Outstanding Bravery, the best Crime Fighting Duo, the best young Rising Star, and a Lifetime Achievement award for retired K-9s.
Trained to search for and track missing people
“Luna would continue to work if the choice was hers,” PC McBride said, according to the Good News Network. “She was an exceptional police dog to work alongside and when I found out she’d won the Lifesaver Award I was blown away; I even cried.”
“Saying I’m proud of Luna at how much she has achieved is an understatement,” she added.
Luna had been specially trained to search for and track high-risk or missing persons, and as noted, is credited with having saved at least 38 lives over the course of her career as a K-9 unit, including individuals who were injured or sick and required immediate medical attention.
Respect earned, retirement deserved
McBride said that Luna had earned the respect of other dog handlers and law enforcement colleagues and even police management, and noted, “It’s due to her incredible natural ability to locate people quickly; many of whom would have perished due to their injuries or the elements, without her help.”
“She has a wonderful temperament, particularly when dealing with vulnerable and high-risk people; she seems to know they need her help and shows such compassion towards them,” she added. “But she still had the ability to switch when dealing with a dangerous criminal or anyone who would show violence towards her or me.”
Luna, who was recently taken to the beach for her first-ever vacation, will live out her retirement at home with 55-year-old McBride and her 91-year-old mother, as well as two other working K-9s handled by McBride, another German Shepherd named Saul and a Cocker Spaniel named Spud, according to the Express.