'Emotional' Pc tells of injured dog
A police officer has said seeing his working dog suffer a fractured skull after being struck by a brick during the riots in Tottenham was like seeing his "best friend and closest colleague" injured.
Constable Phil Wells said it was "very emotional" when three-year-old German shepherd Obi was struck by a missile on Tottenham High Road last Saturday.
He said: "Obi is trained in public order, and that may be dispersing a crowd or pushing them back. We were on a stationary point when we came under heavy bombardment. There were lots of missiles coming at us, bottles, bricks, petrol bombs, street furniture, too many to count and one hit Obi on the top of the head."
He continued: "Initially he was a bit shocked but I gave him a checkover and tried to avoid any further injuries and after the initial shock he seemed fine so we carried on for another couple of hours.
"Afterwards he was assessed and and was showing signs he needed veterinary help. He was lethargic and was bleeding from the left nostril which could be a sign of head trauma so he was taken to the vets and assessed and the vet was not happy about the impact he had had so he was transferred to the Royal Veterinary School in Cambridge for a CT scan.
"That showed he had a fractured skull above the left eye socket."
Obi has lived in Surrey with Constable Wells, his wife Laura and children Abigail, seven, and Thomas, three, since he was eight weeks old and is seen as one of the family.
The officer said: "Although he is not a pet - he is a working dog - when he is at home it is family time and he is part of our family. To see your best friend and work colleague get injured while at work is difficult but he is getting a lot support from everyone and he will be back fighting fit.
"He is my best friend and to see him get injured, to see him on a theatre table and you're not sure what has happened and you're not sure if it's touch and go, of course it is very emotional."
Constable Wells said all of the eight dogs in his unit on Tottenham High Road on Saturday suffered cut pads on their paws from the broken glass and debris on the street and some suffered cuts and broken teeth. He added: "I have never experienced stuff coming at us from all sides like that before."