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Handler pays tribute to police dog

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 13/05/2016
© nz police

A police dog handler has spoken movingly about the dog he lost when a routine search warrant job turned into a dramatic siege in Porirua.

Police dog Gazza died in April having blocked a gunshot handler Constable Josh Robertson thinks would otherwise have hit him, according to an article in the police magazine Ten One.

Const Robertson ran out of the house carrying Gazza and sought cover.

"I laid him down and he just died there," he says.

The gunman barricaded himself in a nearby house where police found him dead the following morning.

Const Robertson talks about the impact of losing his mate.

Gazza, the police dog was shot by an offender. © NZ Police/One News Gazza, the police dog was shot by an offender. "You don't go home and turn the dog off, then turn him on again to go to work. He comes home and he's our mate. It's our lifestyle. He's not there and we miss him."

Gazza was a focused, formidable police patrol dog who could flip the switch to become a playful, loving pooch at home, he says.

"He was pretty special," says Const Robertson.

"He was our boy. At home he was just a silly dog, not a tool for catching criminals. At home he was a big goober."

Gazza was a few weeks short of his fourth birthday - just coming into his prime and was set to be one of the stars of the yet-to-screen eighth series of TV One's Dog Squad.

Tributes for Gazza have flowed © NZ Police Tributes for Gazza have flowed
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