An injured police dog sniffed out a discarded knife believed to have been used during a robbery- as he walked to the vets to get his stitches removed.

PD Max suffered multiple cuts to his legs after getting into a tangle with a thorn bush while walking off-duty with his handler PC Adam Fegan last month.

The Dutch Herder (6) needed five stitches and his legs wrapped up in bandages, leaving him bed-bound so he could recuperate.

After nearly two weeks off work, PC Fegan organised to take Max back to the vets in Ponteland to have his stitches removed.

But on his way to the practice last Friday, he sniffed out a knife that had been discarded in some bushes.

The weapon was seized by police and is believed to have been used during a robbery at a garden centre just minutes before it was uncovered by Max.  

PC Fegan, of Northumbria Police, said today (Tuesday) he is not surprised by Max’s determination to get back to his crime fighting ways.

“Max has a long list of fantastic jobs and has been itching to get back to work after his tangle with a thorn bush a couple of weeks ago,” PC Fegan said.

“We were walking to the vets in Ponteland when we saw the police activity and they had told us a suspected robbery had taken place nearby.

“Within minutes Max had his nose to the ground and it didn’t take long for him to sniff out a knife from some nearby shrubbery.

“It appears that this was a knife used in the robbery and, better still, a male suspect was tracked down by our response officers nearby.

“Max is now all signed off for a return to duty but he has earned himself some more brownie points with his K9 friends after another good job!”

A 48-year-old man and 44-year-old woman had been arrested on suspicion of robbery after the raid at the garden centre in Ponteland.

It had been reported that a man and woman had entered the garden centre just after 3.30pm and tried to make off with goods from the store.

They both fled the scene before a staff member who tried to pursue the male suspect was threatened with a knife.

The two suspects arrested were detained nearby and taken into custody. They have both since been released under investigation pending further enquires.