PC Ian Sweeney with his German Shepherd RPD Logan (Thin Blue Paw Foundation/PA)
A retired Humberside Police dog who survived being shot three times in the face while on duty has been honoured with a lifetime achievement award.
Logan, an eight-year-old German Shepherd, received his award at a ceremony at Knebworth Park, Hertfordshire, hosted by the Thin Blue Paw Foundation.
PC Ian Sweeney with his German Shepherd RPD (Retired Police Dog) Logan (Thin Blue Paw Foundation/PA)
His owner and former handler PC Ian Sweeney, 52, from north-east Lincolnshire, attended the awards and described Logan as his “soulmate”.
PC Sweeney, who has worked as a police officer for 28 years, with 13 years in the dog unit said: “This award is particularly special as it encompasses everything he’s done and I don’t think you ever really believe you’ll achieve something like that.
“It makes all the hard work so worthwhile.
“Logan is my soulmate and I’m so proud of him for everything he’s achieved.
“I still feel incredibly shocked, overwhelmed and overjoyed by it.”
Logan joined Humberside Police in January 2015 as a 10-month-old puppy from the South Yorkshire Police breeding programme.
Having had no training, Logan was partnered with PC Sweeney who said he had “never known a dog like him”.
PC Sweeney said: “It usually takes around 13 weeks to train a general purpose police dog but Logan took only eight weeks before he was trained and licensed, and we hit the streets in May 2015.
“He was a natural with his scent detection and tracking, I’ve never known a dog like him.
“He had a faultless career, always passed all of his assessments and never put a paw wrong. He was the dream dog.”
Logan was partnered with PC Ian Sweeney who said he had “never known a dog like him” (Thin Blue Paw Foundation/PA)
In 2017, he qualified as a firearms support dog but a year later Logan almost lost his life while protecting his owner from an attempted murderer in Grimsby.
“We knew where he was hiding and we knew he had a bladed weapon,” PC Sweeney said.
“Logan and I cornered him and then he turned on us with a handgun and threatened to kill us.”
PC Sweeney said he had feared he was “sending Logan to his death” and the pair were both seriously injured during the arrest.
“I deployed Logan which was probably one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make as I thought I may be sending him to his death to protect me,” PC Sweeney said.
“I got hit in the face three times and Logan was also shot in the mouth and head three times – but, despite his injuries, he still detained him successfully.”
In 2017 he qualified as a firearms support dog, but a year later Logan almost died while protecting his owner from an attempted murderer in Grimsby (Thin Blue Paw Foundation/PA)
Following the incident, Logan received a Heart of the Community Award and was also honoured with the North East Region 2 National Bravery Award.
“I haven’t got enough shelf space for all of his medals and awards,” PC Sweeney added.
In December 2020, Logan successfully tracked a high-risk missing person who had disappeared from his home.
After 70 minutes searching approximately five square miles in temperatures of -2C, Logan located the man, who was unclothed and close to death, and led medics to him, saving his life.
Humberside Police Superintendent Lee Edwards said: “This award is one in a long line of accomplishments Logan has achieved.
“We are all extremely proud for everything RPD Logan has accomplished over his seven and a half years’ service, and we congratulate him on his well-deserved award.”
Logan retired in May this year with two chief constable commendations and more than 300 successful arrests.
PC Sweeney said: “Working as a dog handler is my dream job and I feel so lucky that I got to spend seven and a half years working beside Logan.
“Now he is mine, I just want him to have a lovely retirement,” he added.