AN officer has paid tribute to his former hero police dog who has died.

PD Thor served with North Yorkshire Police for four years alongside his handler PC Martin Gayles before retiring in July last year.

Seven-year-old German Shepherd Thor 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 2018, 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 and appeared on the Channel 5 series The Yorkshire Vet.

After his retirement, he moved on to start a new life as a pet with a family.

On Saturday, the official Twitter page for North Yorkshire Police Dog Section, confirmed that Thor died after a short and sudden illness.

PC Gayles said: “Thor was my very first police dog and we learnt everything together. He was always there for me when I needed him and he was a part of my family at home. I am very proud of Thor and what he achieved during his career and I will never forget him. He was loved by his new family and thoroughly enjoying his retirement. His sudden passing is devastating for them and they will miss him deeply. He was and always will be my big lad.”