'Heroic' dog given Speaker's chair during Commons explosives sweep

Explosives dog PoppyImage copyright
UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

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Poppy has received the PDSA Order of Merit – the animal equivalent of an OBE

A sniffer dog praised for her heroism in the London Bridge terror attack was given the Speaker’s chair as she checked the House of Commons.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle let Poppy, an explosives detective dog, sit in his chair as part of her sweep of the Commons and Lords chambers.

The spaniel was awarded a “canine OBE” for her work in checking for potential explosives following the 2017 attack.

Eight people died during the attack in Borough Market.

Image copyright
UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA Wire

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Poppy’s other work includes donning a harness to search tall buildings such as Westminster Abbey

Her handler, PC Spalding, said Poppy, now five, went into buildings, clearing them for armed officers in the aftermath of the attack.

“Even though we clocked up a marathon 30-hour shift, she was still happy to carry on. She is amazing and I put my trust in her 100%,” she said.

Sir Lindsay, who has a menagerie of pets, including a parrot called Boris and Maggie, a 16kg tortoise, said: “I felt honoured to meet Poppy and her handler PC Spalding – who are a brave and talented double act.

“We are so lucky to have police dogs searching Parliament every day to keep us safe. It’s only when you hear about the escapades of Poppy and all her canine colleagues, that you appreciate the vital work they do to protect us from harm.”

PC Spalding and Poppy were doing their regular sweep in the Houses of Parliament when they bumped into Sir Lindsay.

“He’s really nice – you can see he really loves dogs. He even allowed her to sit on his chair. She was more than happy to smile for the camera,” the officer said.


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