The dog, named Jet, was assisting officers as they attempted to locate suspects connected to a break-in at a commercial property in Yate, Glostershire. Jet walked onto a covered stretch of railway line and was struck by a train, which eventually led to him being put to sleep the following day.
The dog had seen huge successes during his time within the Avon and Somerset police force, successfully locating people of interest to police on numerous occasions.
Jet was a black German Shepherd and was just six-years-old when he passed away yesterday after his injuries were deemed to be too severe to keep him alive.
According to the American Kennel Club, the average life expectancy of a German Shepherd is 12 to 14 years.
A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: ”It is with great sadness that we are announcing the death of one of our police dogs, PD Jet, who was injured following an incident whilst on duty yesterday morning (April 14).
“Jet, a six-year-old German Shepherd, had been deployed to locate suspected offenders following a report of a burglary at a commercial premises in Yate when he free tracked onto an obscured section of railway line and was struck by a train.
“Sadly, despite receiving emergency treatment over the past 24 hours, his injuries were deemed too severe and the decision was taken to put him to sleep at midday today (April 15).
“The burglary suspects remain outstanding and enquiries to locate them are ongoing.
“Since joining us from Devon and Cornwall Constabulary in September last year, Jet has had some outstanding successes within Avon and Somerset, including locating wanted and vulnerable persons.”
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There was also an outpouring of grief on Twitter over the news. One wrote: “So sorry to read about Jet. A hero with 4 legs. RIP.”
Another said: “I’m so sorry, what a hero Jet was. RIP Jet.”
According to data published by the Ministry of Defence Police in 2019, German Shepherds are the most commonly used breed of dog by the UK’s police force.
It is followed by the Belgian Shepherd, English Springer Spaniel and Labrador, respectively.