A SWINDON police dog who helped collar more than 200 people has retired.

Rottweiler Juno, who served with Wiltshire Police for six years, was used to track offenders from crime scenes and search buildings and open areas for suspects.

The seven-year-old also helped seek out missing people and search for lost items.

PC Neil Parsons, Juno’s handler, said his partner had been ill treated as a puppy but had grown in confidence after he was picked up from the RSPCA by police.

Juno then underwent a 12-week training course before he was deployed on operations.

PC Parsons said: “Juno was my first police dog and he’s got me out of many scraps and arrested a lot of people.

“I remember a few years ago we were called to Penhill after 50 or 60 people were fighting in the streets.

“Juno got right in there and bit a number of people and broke it all up.

“Also, we managed to find an 80-year-old man, who had Alzheimer's, laying in some bushes after he was reported missing by a care home in Moredon.

“There’s a lot of mutual respect between us. He’s a very loyal dog and we’ve built up a close bond in the years we’ve been together.”

Juno, who weighs 38 kilos, was one of only two rottweilers working in Wiltshire Police Dog Section when he retired this week.

As part of his training he learnt how to tackle people with firearms and chase and detain criminals.

PC Parsons said: “I know I can take him into any situation and he wouldn’t let me down. He’d put his life on the line for me.

“His arrest figures and overall work made me a very satisfied and happy handler.

“He was ill-treated when he was young and would bite out of fear. Once I gained his trust he turned into an excellent police dog.”

Juno will spend the rest of his life being cared for by a rottweiler rehabilitation charity in Chippenham.

PC Parsons said: “He has earned his retirement and although it’s not possible to keep him with me, I know he is not far away and will visit him regularly.”