RAMSBOTTOM residents are being urged to donate unwanted dogs to the police.

Greater Manchester Police force has begun a course of dog training for new dogs destined to be an additional arm of crime fighting.

The dogs, if suitable, will take part in a 13-week course with a new handler where they will be trained in basic obedience, searching open areas of land and buildings for people, tracking on a long line, searching for items of property in different environments and chasing and detaining suspects.

Martin Almond, team leader for GMP’s dog training unit, said: “We train dogs every day and have now come to the stage where we are in need of new dogs for the team.

“We are looking for either German Shepherds, Rottweilers or crossbreeds of the two, aged 12 to 18 months who have a good temperament.

“Those dogs that complete their training programme are then paired with a handler and become part of the operational team.”

Anyone wanting to find out more or to check if their dog is suitable is asked to contact the dog training unit on 0161 856 1791.