Battle for Ivy continues as more than 33,000 join fight for West Mercia police dog to remain with retiring handler
The future of Market Drayton police dog handler David Evans and his German Shepherd dog Ivy remains unclear despite the Chief Constable being called in.
A meeting has been held over whether to allow Ivy to retire and remain with her handler.
Sergeant David Evans, from Market Drayton, has met West Mercia Police Chief Constable Anthony Bangham about his wish to keep Ivy when he retires from West Mercia Police in April. Despite the meeting, a final decision on the future of Ivy has yet to have been made.
The move comes as a petition set up in the hope of allowing Ivy to remain with her owner has now reached more than 33,000 signatures.
Sergeant Evans' daughter Jennie, who started the online petition, said: "The meeting was a frank and friendly discussion on the subject in hand and both have put their views forward for each other to consider."
"No decision has been made yet but Mr Bangham is aware of all the positive comments given on the petition and we thank him for his time in acknowledging these."
Sergeant Evans has spent 34 years in service with the force and in the past has kept dogs that have reached retirement age. However, his family say they have been told that will not be possible as Ivy needs to keep working.
Anne Tugwell, spokeswoman for West Mercia Police confirmed no decision had been reached.
She said: "We can confirm that the meeting has taken place, but the decision has not been made and there will be no update on this until next week."
Commenting on the online petition, Gixer Griff posted: "Brilliant. Let's hope he makes the right decision."
Malcolm Newton said: "Good news, now make the right choice."
Angie White said: "As a dog owner, it's unbelievable that anyone could consider removing Ivy from her handler. It is not in anyone's best interest to do so."
Lisa Oulton added: "I think for the welfare of Ivy and to repay the amazing 34 years of service allowing Ivy to retire with her beloved handler is something that the West Mercia Police would be happy to do."
Training of police dogs starts at about 12 months old. Dogs are normally kept working by forces up to the age of around eight, although they are assessed annually to ensure they remain suitable for work.
To view the petition visit change.org/p/west-mercia-police-help-police-dog-ivy-stay-with-her-beloved-dog-handler