Tight knit duo make police dog calendar

By Alice Lock

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STARS: Puppy Development Officer Constable Cam Gunn with police dog Chuck who appears in the new Police dog calendar.
STARS: Puppy Development Officer Constable Cam Gunn with police dog Chuck who appears in the new Police dog calendar.

Hawke's Bay Constable Cam Gunn and his sidekick Chuck have made the cut to be poster boys for the first Police Dog Calendar.

The puppy development officer and six-year-old german shepherd were chosen out of 200 other entries as the pin-ups for January 2018.

When asked how the duo got selected, Mr Gunn said it all happened pretty quickly.

"We were just walking across the backyard when a police photographer asked if we would be keen. I didn't hesitate as it's for such a great cause."

Mr Gunn said the calendar showcased the dogs' personalities and in Chuck's case portrayed his playful nature.

"We did a bit of wrestling, it was good fun."

The photograph taken by Sergeant Grahame Morrell also showed the duo's tight-knit bond, which was formed back in November last year.

"We just instantly clicked. I learnt his quirks and he learnt mine, our settle-in period was pretty quick. I just love his temperament, he is chilled at home and operational at work."

The pair were tested by the operational dog team for safety and control and were out fighting crime shortly after.

"Just after we were tested we went up towards Mohaka for a car chase and Chuck managed to trace the offender off a four-hour-old track. He worked really well."

Mr Gunn said it had been a pretty busy time for the duo, as they went to the Police Patrol Dog Nationals earlier this year and have been out catching burglars on the streets.

"It is a pretty cool job going to work with your dog and helping people catch offenders. I guess you get to work and play together 24-seven, which is great."

Chuck has become a valuable part of Mr Gunn's family and the pair have formed a bond like no other.

"I have a lot of faith in him and he has faith in me. We just work."

All of the money made from the 2017 calendars goes towards the Police Dog Charitable Trust.

The trust helps provide money for research and educational programmes for handlers and dog training staff, and supports the New Zealand Police Dog Section in getting breeding dogs to strengthen their international reputation.

It was set up in 2005 after the late Shirley Ellwood, a police volunteer who loved the work of the dog section, left some funds from her estate.

Mr Gunn said the trust allows them to go over and above the police funding for the New Zealand Police Dog Section.

People can buy the 2017 calendar's online from the 'Cop Shop' website munrocanteen.nz for $19 plus $4 postage and packing.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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