A special member of the police force got his paws on a national award last week following his bravery during an armed robbery in Downham.
Fuzz, a seven-year-old German Shepherd who has served in the Metropolitan Police force for most of his life, won the Public Service Animal of the Year title at the Daily Mirror Animal Hero Awards on Wednesday.
The ceremony, which was hosted by Amanda Holden, recognises outstanding animal bravery and achievement.
Fuzz fought off canine competitor Hertz, who helped protect Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, and the long-serving Thames Valley Police horse Albert, to be named top dog in his category.
The incident that secured Fuzz his prestigious award happened eighteen months ago in Downham, Lewisham.
Fuzz pursued a man armed with a metal bar as he attempted to rob a moped.
The suspect proceeded to violently attack Fuzz with the bar, seriously wounding him beneath the eye. Nevertheless, the brave dog kept the suspect pinned to the ground until his human colleagues caught up to arrest the felon.
Fearless Fuzz has been living with his handler, PC Craig Calthorpe of the Dogs Support Unit, since he was just seven weeks old.
Calthorpe said: “It was amazing to get nominated, let alone win this prestigious award and it’s testament to Fuzz’s bravery that he refused to back down even after he was struck.”
Throughout his career Fuzz has sniffed out many criminals in his efforts to safeguard London’s streets.
He also had special training to become a “firearms dog” aiding specialist officers during crimes involving knives or guns.
Following Fuzz’s triumph in Lewisham, the detained criminal was charged with numerous offences, including animal cruelty.
Fuzz made a full recovery after receiving emergency treatment for his injuries.
Calthorpe added: “[Fuzz’s achievement] shows the dedication of our dogs that put themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis.”