Christmas gift for retiring police officer who saved dog’s life in West Hampstead

PUBLISHED: 13:23 24 December 2015 | UPDATED: 13:31 24 December 2015

PC Lou Richards was presented with a gift by Darren Thornton pictured with Rotweiler Rocco

PC Lou Richards was presented with a gift by Darren Thornton pictured with Rotweiler Rocco


A mounted police officer received a special retirement gift on her last ever shift from a homeless man whose dog she saved.

PC Lou Richards was presented with a box of chocolates and a Christmas card by Darren Thornton to thank her for helping to his Rottweiler Rocco after he was run over on Saturday in West Hampstead

Pc Richards was on patrol with colleagues when they found Rocco, who had pulled free from his lead and been run over, with an injury to his hind leg.

The officers called out a vet from the Mill Lane Surgery. After hearing that Darren was homeless, the surgery treated Rocco free of charge.

The woman driving the car also offered to pay for ongoing veterinary treatment, even though she was not at fault with the accident.

Three days later, a box of chocolates and a Christmas card arrived at the police stables in West Hampstead. The gift was from Darren, thanking the officers for their help following the incident.

It was PC Richards’s last day with the Met before retirement.

She said: “This means more to me than anything else I’ve done in my career.”

PC Cath I’Anson, of the Met’s mounted branch, said: “Darren used to be a dog walker and walked Rocco on behalf of an elderly lady, until she moved into a care home and Darren became Rocco’s owner. Since then the two of them have been inseparable and it has meant a lot to Darren that our officers were able to ensure Rocco received the care he needed.

“It is really heart-warming to see local officers and residents coming together to help out.”

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