Dog Welfare Scheme

The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Independent Dog Welfare Visiting Scheme

The Independent Dog Welfare Visiting Scheme aims to build public confidence by ensuring the training and treatment of police dogs is transparent. This will be done by ensuring that police dogs are treated in a humane, ethical and transparent way which complies with the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Dog Welfare Visitors are members of the local community who are appointed to provide an independent check on the welfare of dogs in police care.


The death of a police dog whilst in training in Essex in 2003 resulted in an understandable loss of public confidence in police dog training methods. In response to this, the ACPO Police Dog Sub-Committee embarked upon a thorough review of police dog training and handling.

As a result, an Animal Welfare Lay Visiting Scheme was introduced. By 2006 Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Police Authorities each had fully operational schemes in place.

In 2008 Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Police Authorities agreed to a collaboration of their two Forces’ Police Dog Units and on 1 April 2009 a single Joint Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Police Dog Unit was established.

In December 2009 the two Police Authorities agreed to collaborate on Animal Welfare Visiting arrangements and a joint visiting scheme was established. In November 2012 Police and Crime Commissioners were elected in each force area replacing the Police Authorities.

The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Independent Dog Welfare Visiting Scheme was established on 3 December 2012 under the responsibility of the Police and Crime Commissioner.  In April 2013, the Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Dog Unit collaborated with Cambridgeshire’s Dog Unit.

The Office of Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner administer the joint scheme. Further details can be found on their website.

There are currently no vacancies for the role of Dog Welfare Visitor in Bedfordshire.

Annual Reports