A LONG serving and headline-grabbing police dog has retired through ill health.

PD Thor has served with North Yorkshire Police for four years alongside his handler PC Martin Gayles.

Thor, a six-year-old German Shepherd, worked as a general purpose police dog, assisting with arrests, locating suspects, property and finding missing and vulnerable people since 2014.

As reported in The Press, when PC Gayles fell 15 feet and broke his leg during a chase in January, Thor stood guard over him, and in March 2015, Thor made headlines when he helped track down a vandal who smashed the windows of a restaurant in an 80-minute chase.

In his career he also protected PC Gayles from a man threatening him with a Samurai sword, appeared on the Channel 5 series The Yorkshire Vet, and had a knee replacement in 2017 after teraing his Cruciate ligaments.

Thor has now given up his police duties, and will move on to start a new life as a pet with a new family in Bradford, making way for PC Gayle’s new sidekick, Buzz, a five-year-old Belgian Malinois.

However, before retiring, Thor spent one last night at home with PC Gayles and his family, Finn the Labrador and PD Meg, an English Springerdor trained in detecting drugs, cash and firearms.

PC Gayles: "It has been an absolute honour and privilege to work with Thor. He was the first dog I was paired up with when I joined the Dog Section and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner.

"When I found out he was to be retired I was absolutely distraught. Not only has he been amazing at his job he has been a loyal and much-loved part of our family. The things I’ll miss most about him are kisses and cuddles. Whilst I’m gutted to see him retire I’m happy that he will be able to relax and enjoy his retirement with his new family. I’m also excited to see what the future brings with my new dog Buzz."