Meet the sniffer Staffie who is keeping the royals safe

·Royal Correspondent
·2-min read
Roxy is a rescue Staffie and the first one to become a police explosive sniffer dog. (PA/Getty)
Roxy is a rescue Staffie and the first one to become a police explosive sniffer dog. (PA/Getty)

This is the "superstar" Staffie who has become a protection dog with royal responsibilities, after being abandoned by her owners.

Roxy was found unwanted in 2017 and was rescued by RSPCA officers.

But she was trained by Hampshire and Thames Valley police’s specialist search unit as one of their explosives search dogs - the first Staffie in the UK to perform the role.

Now the rags to riches pup can add royal events like the funeral of Prince Philip and the wedding of Princess Beatrice to her CV as she helps sniff out danger for high profile events.

Undated handout photo issued by Thames Valley Police of police dog handler PC Camilla Carter and five-year-old Roxy, an unwanted Staffie which was rescued by RSPCA officers after being abandoned in 2017 and which has now become the only Staffie working as an explosives search dog in the UK helping to protect the royal family and the only type of her breed working in the Hampshire and Thames Valley police dog unit. Issue date: Tuesday June 1, 2021.
PC Camilla Carter and five-year-old Roxy, an unwanted Staffie who was rescued by RSPCA officers after being abandoned in 2017. (PA Images)
Undated handout photo issued by Thames Valley Police of police dog handler PC Camilla Carter and five-year-old Roxy, an unwanted Staffie which was rescued by RSPCA officers after being abandoned in 2017 and which has now become the only Staffie working as an explosives search dog in the UK helping to protect the royal family and the only type of her breed working in the Hampshire and Thames Valley police dog unit. Issue date: Tuesday June 1, 2021.
Roxy is the only Staffie working as an explosives search dog in the UK helping to protect the royal family. (PA Images)
Undated handout photo issued by Thames Valley Police of five-year-old Roxy, an unwanted Staffie which was rescued by RSPCA officers after being abandoned in 2017 and which has now become the only Staffie working as an explosives search dog in the UK helping to protect the royal family and the only type of her breed working in the Hampshire and Thames Valley police dog unit. Issue date: Tuesday June 1, 2021.
Roxy is the only type of her breed working in the Hampshire and Thames Valley police dog unit. (PA images)

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Usually breeds such as German shepherds, Labradors and spaniels are trained up as sniffer dogs.

But handlers saw potential in Roxy when she came into the care of West Hatch Animal Centre in Somerset.

RSPCA supervisor Sue Dicks said: “Roxy was the right age, was good around people and other dogs, and was really confident.

“She was also very ball-focused – something that’s really important in training – and was incredibly determined.”

Roxy, now five, works with PC Camilla Carter, and the two completed training in February 2020.

Undated handout photo issued by Thames Valley Police of police dog handler PC Camilla Carter and five-year-old Roxy, an unwanted Staffie which was rescued by RSPCA officers after being abandoned in 2017 and which has now become the only Staffie working as an explosives search dog in the UK helping to protect the royal family and the only type of her breed working in the Hampshire and Thames Valley police dog unit. Issue date: Tuesday June 1, 2021.
PC Camilla Carter works with five-year-old Roxy, including at royal events like Prince Philip's funeral. (PA Images)
Undated handout photo issued by Thames Valley Police of police dog handler PC Camilla Carter and five-year-old Roxy, an unwanted Staffie which was rescued by RSPCA officers after being abandoned in 2017 and which has now become the only Staffie working as an explosives search dog in the UK helping to protect the royal family and the only type of her breed working in the Hampshire and Thames Valley police dog unit. Issue date: Tuesday June 1, 2021.
Roxy was abandoned by her owners in 2017 but has a new lease of life now. (PA Images)

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Roxy’s role is to detect the scent of explosives and carry out security sweeps before high-profile public events and VIP visits.

The teams sweep venues before visits, and respond to bomb threats and search private jets.

PC Carter said: “I’m incredibly proud of her for carrying out such an important job ahead of such large events, both happy and sad.”

She added: “Roxy is a superstar. She is intelligent, very systematic and thorough. I love working by her side, she’s my crew mate and we have each other’s backs.

“I’m sure she was born to do this; I couldn’t imagine her doing anything else.”

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