Seven-year-old Ox graduated as an operational Police dog with handler Sergeant Ben O’Connor in July 2011 and served five-and-a-half years before retiring in December with a back injury.
He caught 332 offenders and was a crucial part of the Wellington and AOS squads, regularly attending dangerous situations.
Now Ox is enjoying all the creature comforts of retirement as a member of Ben’s family, including playing with the children, going for walks and swimming in the river – and getting to tuck into some tasty leftovers and offcuts every now and then.
No stranger to the media spotlight, some of Ox’s high-profile catches included successfully tracking a burglar 4.5km through Wainuiomata, and catching six offenders from different jobs in a single shift.
“His tracking work and criminal work were his greatest strengths,” says Ben, now a dog trainer instructor at the Police Dog Training Centre in Trentham.
Ox is also a former police dog national champion. He won the title with Ben in 2014, and was runner-up with handler Constable Andrew ‘Junior’ Douglas in 2016.
Junior became Ox’s handler when Ben was promoted last year.