Special commendation for search dog Scamp
SCAMP, the tobacco and cash detection dog, has sniffed out a major award, receiving a Special Commendation for his detection work from the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG).
Scamp is owned by Stuart Phillips of Pembrokeshire-based BWY Canine Specialist Search Dogs. He is specially trained to track down tobacco and cash and his finely tuned nose has turned up millions of pounds of counterfeit tobacco and proceeds of crime cash. During his career he has found over £1.6 million in cash, connected to organised crime as well as more than £6 million worth of illegal tobacco products in the last five years.
Scamp was presented with his award, as well as with a bag of doggy treats and tennis balls, at a special ceremony at St David's Cathedral on Monday.
The ceremony in the cloister gardens was attended by Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Rev Dr Sarah Rowland Jones; Paul Davies AM; John Burns, owner of Burns Pet Nutrition and Phil Lewis, director general of ACG.
Mr Lewis explained that 3000 members of ACG had voted for Scamp to receive the Special Commendation Award for Excellence in Anti-Counterfeiting Enforcement.
He said that the money criminals raised from counterfeit products was often used to fund serious crimes like people smuggling, arms and child labour.
"The work that Scamp does has lead to thousands of illegal products being taken; around £6 million worth of illegal products," he said.
"We have the edge and Scamp gives a little bit of edge," he said. "Scamp and Stuart give us that solid advantage in certain areas. It is a huge honour for me to present this award to them."
Scamp's owner, Stuart Phillips of BWY Canine Specialist Search Dogs, said he was delighted to win the award.
"When you train dogs like this you don't expect to win awards you just expect to do the job really," he said. "From a dog trainer's point of view, you train your dog to find something and they have turned out to be particularly good."
This is one of three awards Scamp has won so far this year; he has also won the Chartered Trading Standards Institute Hero Award and, along with Stuart and another dog, Yoyo, has been nominated by West Mercia Police to receive a High Sheriffs Award in Hereford next week.