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German Shepherd Luna and her Police Scotland handler PC Linda McBride, 55, were honoured at Thin Blue Paw Awards ceremony last night (Thur), receiving a Lifesaver award. The duo, based at Larbert in the Central Division of Police Scotland, spent nearly eight years working across the Stirling area.
They were partnered in December 2012 when Luna was just 12-weeks-old before training and then licensing in September 2014.
PC McBride treated Luna to a relaxing holiday after her retirement – and said the bond between the pair, who always looked out for each other, will never be broken.
PC McBride, from Falkirk, said: “Luna would continue to work if the choice was hers, she was an exceptional police dog to work alongside.
“I am very proud of her and everything that she has achieved.”
“When I found out that she’d won the Lifesaver Award I was blown away; I even cried.
“Saying I’m proud of Luna is an understatement.
“I burst with pride at how much she has achieved; our bond will never be broken and, for that, I’m immensely thankful.”
Ten-year-old Luna was skilled in searching and tracking high-risk missing people, saving 38 people during her career.
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In December 2019, Luna was sent to Alva to search for a vulnerable man who had gone missing from his home.
Luna found him hidden in some bushes, suffering from hypothermia and he was rushed to hospital for treatment.
He has since contacted the police to thank PC McBride and Luna for saving his life.
And in 2015, Luna managed to find a fingertip that had been bitten off during a fight so that it could be taken to hospital and doctors could attempt to reattach it to the victim.
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PC McBride added: “Luna has gained respect from dog handlers, frontline colleagues and management over the years 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.
“But she still had the ability to switch when dealing with a dangerous criminal or anyone who would show violence towards her or me.
“We always looked out for each other.”
Luna lives with PC McBride, her working police dogs German Shepherd PD Saul and cocker spaniel PD Spud, as well as PC McBride’s 91-year-old mother.
She said: “Luna and the other dogs are fantastic with my mother, who I care for.
“They seem to sense she needs our care.
“I think that intuitive nature is what made Luna so good at searching for missing people too; she wanted to help.”
Thin Blue Paw Foundation trustee Kieran Stanbridge said: “It’s astounding to read all the stories in which Luna has quite literally saved someone’s life.
“Not only has she had a huge impact on all of these individuals, but also on their families and friends.
“She’s a true inspiration and we felt she was more than deserving of our wonderful Lifesaver Award.”
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