POLICE have shown their softer side by presenting an elderly couple with a dog to replace one killed in a savage attack.
Roy and Jackie Watson were given prize-winning Pomeranian lapdog Eve after their lapdog Max was mauled by a Staffordshire bull terrier in a vicious attack in Chester city centre.
Last August, the pensioners were visiting Chester from Blackpool on a shopping trip with Max, their black Pomeranian.
While Jackie was inside Marks & Spencer on Foregate Street, Roy remained outside with Max curled up asleep at his feet.
As he waited, local man Wayne Egerton, 47, passed by with his Staffordshire bull terrier which inflicted injuries so severe that, despite emergency treatment, Max died.
The ceremony at Blacon police station was orchestrated by former dog handler Kevin Flynn from the Cheshire Police Case Management Department, who dealt with the case against Egerton.
Kevin says: “After the court result, I got in touch with Carl and Julie Sparrow from Eccles who are the owners of this year’s Crufts 2008 Best of Breed Pomeranian and they just happened to be looking to rehome a retired beauty queen, six-year-old Eve.”
Chief crown prosecutor Ian Rushton presented the couple with a bouquet at the presentation ceremony and Cheshire Police donated £100 to a Pomeranian welfare charity to secure Eve’s rehoming.
Jackie, who is being treated for cancer, said: “She’s beautiful. We’ve got her to run about. Her owner said ‘she doesn’t do stairs and doesn’t jump on the sofa’, but she does now.
“I’d been dealing with pet bereavement people because when I lost my little boy it was so horrific.
“I’ll do everything I can to make Eve happy.”
Kevin added: “Mrs Watson and her husband have had to take out a credit card loan in order to pay veterinary bills and, whilst they expressed a wish to find a replacement for Max, they believed that their finances would never have allowed them to do so.
“Every week for the last three months I’ve had her on the phone in tears.”
Wayne Egerton was charged for keeping a dog that was dangerously out of control in public, banned from keeping a dog for 10 years and ordered to pay the Watsons £750 in compensation. He gave away the dog and it was later put down.