A former Police Scotland dog set sail aboard NorthLink Ferries passenger vessel MV Hamnavoe this morning (Monday 10 September) to get a glimpse of his new life as a drugs detection dog in Orkney.
Whisky, a nine-year-old yellow Labrador, and his handler, PC Matthew Watson, along with Sgt Niall Maclean, travelled on the ferry from Scrabster to Stromness for a two-day visit to meet Whisky’s new team. Before leaving the ferry, Whisky and PC Watson performed a demonstration of their impressive detection skills to shoreside staff, crew and members of the Orkney Drugs Dog Board.
While in Orkney, Whisky will be taking part in community engagement and demonstrations alongside PC Watson, who will be handing Whisky over to a handler at the charity after his October retirement.
Whisky is part of Orkney’s first drugs dog charity which is supported by NorthLink Ferries’ rolling sponsoring programme, providing complimentary travel for the dogs and their handlers as they make their way between the Northern Isles and Scottish mainland, in addition to southern travel for training opportunities. The support follows an ongoing partnership with charity Dogs Against Drugs in Shetland which also receives travel sponsorship.
Seumas Campbell, Serco’s customer service director at NorthLink Ferries, commented: “We are very pleased to be supporting the Orkney Drugs Dog charity and welcoming Whisky and his handler on board. We all really enjoyed the demonstration which provided a great insight into the fantastic job that the team does.”
Andrew Drever, chairperson at Orkney Drugs Dog, added: “It was really exciting to start Whisky’s new life in Orkney with a journey on board MV Hamnavoe. We’re very grateful for the support from NorthLink Ferries and hope the crew appreciated a glimpse into the work that these detection dogs do.
“Whisky is an example of how police dogs can have new roles within the community. We hope to use his detection skills on the islands over the next two years thanks to the very generous donation of Whisky from his owner. He will help us all in continuing the great activity that we do in maintaining a safe environment for our local communities.”
For more details about Orkney Drugs Dog, visit http://www.orkneydrugsdog.co.uk/