Tributes have flooded in for police sniffer dog Mij who died after retiring from a successful career in the force.
The English springer spaniel died last Tuesday aged 17-and-a-half years.
He joined Nottinghamshire Police as a puppy and spent nine years helping put criminals behind bars.
Leading the tributes to Mij, his former handler PC Stu Hazard said: ‘Like a lot of spaniels Mij was absolutely crazy.
‘He really wasn’t the most obedient dog at all – but he was absolutely stunning at what he was trained to do, which was to sniff out drugs, cash, firearms and ammunition.
‘Over the years we spent together he sniffed out probably hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of drugs – in cars, in houses and even in dark fields.
‘He was that good as a sniffer dog that it was pretty much impossible to hide anything from him.’
Mij’s exploits featured in several television documentaries and his fame even helped him snare a drug dealer in Nottingham.
The suspect gave himself up because he knew Mij would find his bag of cocaine in his car.
PC Hazard added: ‘This car had been pulled over in Wollaton Street, Nottingham, and the officers were holding four lads inside as me and Mij arrived at the scene.
‘I remember the driver looking at as both, shaking his head and saying that he’d seen us on TV.
‘He knew instantly he was in trouble so when I asked him if he had any drugs in the car he just came straight out with it and showed us a bag cocaine hidden in the footwell.
‘He knew he had nowhere to go and just came out with it. I remember thinking that was a real compliment for Mij.’
One of the stranger things Mij came across was a six-foot python while searching a living room.
PC Hazard said: ‘I was terrified and got us out of there as quickly as I could.’
On another occasion, he uncovered a gun which had been used in an armed robbery and buried in a garden.
He also sniffed out two live rounds of ammunition under a paving slab.
Mij’s incredible snout even detected a stash of drugs hidden in a tub of coffee on another raid.
Towards the end of his career, the legendary dog was tasked with searching bags for drugs and weapons during the 2012 London Olympics.
PC Hazard added: ‘I used to see Mij regularly right up to the end his life. He really was a special dog and I was very sad to hear of his death.
‘But I also felt a huge amount of pride at things we had done together.’
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