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Scottish Ministry of Defence Police officers raise £2,000 for retired police dogs

A group of Ministry of Defence Police officers from Scotland have raised more than £2,000 for a dog welfare charity by running and cycling 350 miles around Aberdeenshire.

On Saturday 14 August, PC Phil Duncan and his colleagues set out on their 12-hour running and cycling challenge around CNI St Fergus to raise money for the Thin Blue Paw Foundation; a national dog welfare charity that supports working and retired police dogs.

Dog handler PC Duncan, 41, from Fraserburgh, led the team after being inspired by his Ministry of Defence general purpose police dog, PD Hörbi.

He said: “The Thin Blue Paw Foundation has supported retired police dogs I know and, one day, Hörbi may need their help. I wanted to do something to support their wonderful work and help ensure that retired working dogs will be able to get the medical treatment they need.”

After word spread of his challenge, eight of PC Duncan’s colleagues signed up to get involved and, between them, they managed to run and cycle a total of 350 miles:
• PC Phil Duncan ran and cycled a total of 50.52 miles;
• PC Andy Brown ran and cycled 42.8 miles;
• PC Mark Grey ran and cycled 36 miles;
• PC Scott Massie cycled 59.93 miles;
• PS Chris Shepherd ran 11.25 miles;
• PC Claire Woodcock ran and cycled 27.27 miles;
• PC James Gorham ran 6.8 miles;
• PC Dan Barry cycled 100.76 miles;
• PC Ollie Smith-Mearns ran 3.7 miles (during deployable time whilst on duty).

Thin Blue Paw Foundation co-founder and trustee Kieran Stanbridge said: “PC Duncan and his colleagues took on an incredible challenge and have done an amazing job. Every single pound they’ve raised will help us to help our unsung heroes once they retire from public duty.

“Many people don’t realise that police dogs don’t get pensions when they retire and can often have injuries or conditions caused by their tough working lives which need management that can be very expensive. This is a huge responsibility for their new owners and we set up the charity to help families ensure that their beloved dogs can have the treatment they need so they can enjoy long, happy and healthy retirements.

“We couldn’t do what we do without the support of our sponsors, such as Animal Friends Insurance, and without donations from the public and amazing fundraisers like the Scottish Ministry of Defence team. Thank you to all of you!”

• The fundraising team is still taking donations; to support their challenge visit: www.justgiving.com/team/StFergusFitnessClub.

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