MoD forced to defend decision to put down 'Prince William' guard dogs

Ministry says it was not possible to rehome the animals

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The Independent Online

The Ministry of Defence has had to defend its decision put down two guard dogs used to protect the Duke of Cambridge a matter of days after he left his military base in Anglesey.

The Sun reports that the dogs were put down following Prince William's final shift working as a search-and-rescue pilot at RAF Valley, on the Welsh island of Anglesey, last week.

The Ministry said that while it always attempts to rehome such dogs, the timing of the dogs being put to sleep was a coincidence. 

A spokesperson said that Belgian shepherd, named Brus, was at the end of his working life while Blade, a German shepherd, had to be put down due to what they described as “behavioural issues”.

The patrol dogs were part of a unit protecting the 31-year-old duke, the paper reports.

Having worked as a search-and-rescue pilot since 2010, Prince William announced that he wished to focus on his Royal duties and charity work after carrying out his last operational shift on 10 September this year.

An spokesman from the Ministry said, “It is true two dogs have been put down, a couple of days after. It was entirely coincidental.”

He added that Blade, who also “had a record of veterinary issues”, could not be reassigned to other duties.

The spokesman said: “The department's policy is to rehome all military working dogs at the end of their service life wherever practicable.

“Regrettably, however, there are occasions when they have to be put down. This action is only ever taken as a last resort.

“Unfortunately in this case the dogs were unsuitable for rehoming or alternative duties and so sadly, for the animals' welfare, they had to be put down.”