Retired fire dogs get 'animal OBEs'

Two emergency service dogs have received official honours
Two emergency service dogs have received official honours

Two retired fire service dogs which have helped probe incidents in Wigan have been given a prestigious accolade widely regarded as the animal’s equivalent of the OBE

The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals’ Order of Merit was awarded to search and rescue dog Echo and fire scene investigation dog Cracker.

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Mike Dewar, fire investigator and dog unit manager for Greater Manchester Fire And Rescue Service (GMFRS), said: “It is a tremendous honour for GMFRS dog team to be given such a prestigious award.

“It recognises the fantastic work they do in helping to keep our communities safe and educating people in the dangers of smoke and fire.”

Echo served with the fire service for 10 years before retiring in 2012, while Cracker served from 2007 until 2016.

During his service Echo attended around 70 incidents and assisted in events in the UK and overseas. His previous honours include the Pride of Britain award, IFAW animal of the year 2010, hero dog of the year 2010 and Cruft’s friends for life award 2011.

Cracker had a chief superintendent’s commendation for her work at a rally in Bolton in 2009, searching for petrol bombs hidden at Queens Park.

She was directly involved in the conviction of more than 30 arsonists and attended around 500 incidents during her career.