She died in the line of duty. But 'dedicated' PD Zyla will not be forgotten

Tributes have been paid to a "brave and dedicated" police dog who died in the line of service. PD Zyla was involved in the search for a man wanted by Nottinghamshire Police when she followed the suspect into a lake in Leicestershire on Wednesday (July 3).

The dog became unresponsive and was taken to a vet, where she was pronounced dead. Leicestershire Police is flying its force flag at half-mast as a mark of respect.

Leicestershire Police Chief Constable Rob Nixon said PD Zyla “will always be remembered for her bravery and service".

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He added: "Our police dogs are an integral part of Team Leicestershire, playing a crucial, critical role in some of our most dangerous operations. Zyla died in the line of duty and will always be remembered for her bravery, her dedication and her service.

"I know many across the force are deeply saddened by the loss of PD Zyla and I share in this sorrow. My thoughts remain with Zyla’s handler and all those who have been impacted. We continue to provide full welfare support to all those in the force who have been affected."

Police did manage to apprehend the 27-year-old suspect and arrested him on suspicion of attempted murder and later on suspicion of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

He remains in police custody and an investigation is ongoing to establish the full circumstances surrounding the dog’s death. Nottinghamshire Police is leading the investigation into the offence for which the man was wanted.

Chief Constable Rob Nixon added that PD Zyla's death served as a "stark reminder of the inherent dangers associated with policing".

He said: "I want to extend a massive thank you to all the officers who assisted during the incident. Your bravery and professionalism in the face of such an incident are commendable.

"I would also like to thank members of the public for your kind messages which we have received, including the messages of support for PD Zyla’s handler. This is truly appreciated by us all."

A Leicestershire Police spokesperson said the flying of the flag at half-mast, at its headquarters, was a "mark of respect carried out by the force when an officer or member of staff has died while in the line of duty".

The Chief Constable will wear a silver band with PD Zyla’s name on it while undertaking the Police Unity tour later this month. The tour is held every year and is in honour of those officers who have died in the line of duty.