A police officer who broke her heel bone and ripped ligaments in her foot and still continued to search for a missing woman with her dog has won a national award.
Constable Carly Fulton and PD Ben won the National Police Chiefs’ Council “Dog Team of the Year” award on Sunday, at Crufts – an international dog show held in Birmingham.
The pair were awarded for their work on a missing person case in Carluke, South Lanarkshire in August 2022.
The wide-scale search was limited due to woodland and overgrowth in the area where the woman was believed to have gone missing, but the pair were “determined to continue”.
As they made their way through the woodland, PC Fulton lost her footing, broke her heel bone and ripped ligaments in her ankle and foot.
However, she kept going – at times crawling on her hands and knees – to eventually find the woman.
The woman was taken to hospital and PC Fulton needed rehabilitation for her injuries before returning to full duties six months later.
“I’m grateful to receive this award but after my injury, I’m just glad to be back at work with my dogs,” PC Fulton said.
“Due to the nature of that incident, I knew we had to find the woman quickly and that was the focus for me.
“Ben was my first dog when I joined the national Dog Unit and I’m always amazed at the power of his nose and what dogs bring to policing to save lives.”
PD Ben is a six-year-old Belgian Malinois and German Shephard cross breed who is trained as a general purpose dog – he can help find missing people, track suspects and recover evidence.
Chief Superintendent Tracey Robinson, head of Specialist Services, said: “I would like to congratulate Carly and Ben for winning this award which recognises their incredible determination and dedication to public service.
“All of our dog handlers work extremely hard developing their skills and provide crucial support as a national resource to local policing and their communities.
“I’m very proud and glad that Carly and Ben have been able to enjoy some time at Crufts to collect their award.”