Police worker walks 280,000 steps to raise money for retired police dogs!

A police control room worker has walked 280,000 steps to raise more than £1,000 for a charity the supports retired police dogs.  

Nottinghamshire Police control room dispatcher, Daniela Evans, set herself the target to walk 280,000 steps throughout February – that’s 10,000 steps a day – to raise money for a charity close to her heart.  

Daniela, 32, from Nottingham, decided to raise money for national dog welfare charity, Thin Blue Paw Foundation, which supports and celebrates working and retired police dogs.  

Daniela owns Dutch herder Charlie, who failed his police dog training, and German shepherd Harper, who retired after two years of service. She served with Northamptonshire Police before an injury forced her to retire early.

During her career PD Harper was dubbed a hero, in August 2019, when she helped to save a high-risk missing man’s life in Corby. Harper led her handler, PC Lucy Sculthorpe, to the man who was hanging from a railing over a bridge and she was able to cut him free and call for urgent, life-saving help.  

When Harper developed bicep tendonitis and could no longer work, PC Sculthorpe didn’t feel she could keep her and Daniela agreed to take her on as a foster in December 2019 but, after a long stay due to Covid, Daniela realised she couldn’t bear to be parted from her.  

With two ex-working dogs to care for, Daniela tried to find insurance but couldn’t find coverage for Harper due to her injury and previous training. She registered Harper with the Thin Blue Paw Foundation; a new charity set up to help support retired police dogs and their owners. 

Today, RPD Harper, six, is one of almost 300 retired police dogs that the Foundation supports across the UK.  

She said: “The Thin Blue Paw Foundation means I don’t have to worry should Harper ever need life-saving or major surgery, without me having to sell my house to pay for it. It’s a lifeline for retired police dogs. Without it I’d seriously worry about the what-ifs. 

“Since signing up to the Foundation, Harper has had some health problems and the team was there to support her and ease the pressure on me; they’ve covered her routine injections totalling more than £600 so far. They have been a huge support to us and they help our brave four-legged heroes every day and I wanted to do something to give back.” 

Charity trustee Kieran Stanbridge said: “We’re really grateful to Daniela for taking on this challenge and to everyone who has donated. This money is vital to enable us to help more unsung canine heroes, just like Harper, in their hour of need.”

To donate to Daniela’s fundraising, visit her Just Giving page: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/rpdharpertbpf.