Full story of escaped 'dangerous' dog that tried to attack children and injured cop in Shropshire

When an unattended dog tried to attack a group of children in Shrewsbury, no-one expected a lengthy saga involving a wounded cop and a multi-agency search.

The dog's name was Wally and he sparked a very urgent search in Shropshire.
The dog's name was Wally and he sparked a very urgent search in Shropshire.

But that's exactly what happened in Shropshire recently, and it all came to a benign conclusion today.

When reports of children being "attacked" emerged, police sent a specialist dog handler to deal with the incident.

From that point onwards, things just seemed to go wrong.

The officer who responded to the call was said to be experienced, but the dog - a male, tan-coloured Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross - attacked him too.

The handler suffered puncture wounds and bruising to his thigh and had to be taken to hospital for treatment.

More on his condition later.

The dog was eventually captured by other officers from West Mercia Police, who took the animal to a private kennels near Whitchurch.

But that was still only the beginning of this unusual story.

The full story of the search for this missing "dangerous" dog is an interesting one.

On Tuesday of this week, when the dog had been boarding at the kennels for around a fortnight, police issued a social media statement saying the "dangerous" dog had escaped from the kennels the previous day.

It was on the loose and members of the public were urged to be "vigilant" and not to "approach" the animal for their own safety. The police said it was last seen near Hollinswood at around 8.50am.

The statement was scant on detail, but intriguing enough to spark public and media interest. Shropshire Star covered the story from the beginning and a large number of people read our reports.

Later that day, West Mercia Police issued an update stating that there hadn't been any further sightings of the dog. It was still missing and they hadn't been able to locate it.

As a result, the authorities were forced to ramp up the operation.

"Extensive searches" were carried out in the village of Hollinwood and surrounding areas. Police and experts from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service used a special drone in an attempt to spot the dog from above.

But, still, they had no luck.

It's important to note at this point that those searching for the animal were very much taking its welfare into consideration, but were also making it clear that they had a "duty to protect the public".

Police said on Thursday that the dog was likely to be "very scared", adding that the longer the search goes on, the "more frightened" the creature would become.

There were concerns the dog's reactions would be "unpredictable" if confronted.

So, having used every tool at their disposal, West Mercia Police reportedly called in civilian experts Canine Capture to take the search operation to the next level.

Everyone involved with the search was seemingly trying to strike a balance between not wanting to "frighten members of the public" and making it extremely "clear that if they try to approach the dog it could react aggressively".

The police urged people not to "put themselves at risk" and told everyone to "call 999 immediately if they see the animal".

As the search entered its fifth day, police social media channels and press offices were all quiet on all fronts.

But then, after four days of waiting, the good news we were all waiting for finally came.

It was revealed that the so-called "dangerous" dog, who's name is Wally, had been found safe and well.

Officers received a call at around 9.30 on Friday morning to say he had been seen in a garden in Whixall.

It was encouraged into a garage and secured until officers were able to collect it.

You'll be pleased to know the dog will now be taken back to the kennels.

And you will no doubt also be pleased to know that the officer bitten by the animal has made a full recovery.

For some reason, this was slightly bizarre tale, but a very interesting one with a happy ending.

While many of us will hope Wally is either returned to or finds a loving family, I think we can all agree it was lucky he was found safe and well.

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