A TWO-year-old police dog has been forced into early retirement after a car crash forced her leg to be amputated.

Belgian Malinois, Baloo was deployed to a theft of a motor vehicle with her handler, PC Ross Ashcroft in October when she was hit by a car.

She was left with a broken pelvis, and a badly broken leg which needed emergency surgery.

Sadly, her right front leg had to be amputated and she is no longer to continue working as a police dog.

PC Ashcroft said: “She has been a brilliant dog both at work and at home.

"As confident as she was at work, she was an absolute softie when taken out of work who wanted nothing more than attention and cuddles.

"She was a very loyal protective dog and loved life as a police dog.”

Baloo is now on the search for a new life with a new family.

PC Ashcroft was saddened to have to part with his companion, he hopes Baloo can find a "a loving home to enjoy a well-earned rest after her service."

Although her career in Essex Police was short, she has been key in bringing justice on a number of occasions.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "She’s followed her nose to sniff out two violent suspects trying to hide from us after they attacked a woman with a weapon.

"She’s tracked suspects for considerable distances and found them hiding under cars and in bushes and the clever canine has sniffed her way to find discarded weapons including large knives."

Prospective owners can seek help if needed with any vets bills through the charity, Essex Retired Police Dogs Fund.

The charity helps to cover medical expenses for retired police dogs and works all year round to recognise the service the animals give to the county.

If you can provide a home for Baloo, get in touch with Sgt Edhouse from Essex Police's Dog Section at 42002664@essex.pnn.police.uk.