TRIBUTES have been paid to a police dog who had to be put to sleep.

The Alsatian, who was retired from the force, was taken ill yesterday and as a result had to be put to sleep.

Police dog Roy joined Gwent Police in 2007 when he was 2-years-old. During his service he was teamed with PC Wood and it was debated whether Roy would wear a tracking harness or a saddle due to his size.

A statement by Gwent Police said: "He quickly gained legendary status with the team going on to have a very successful career, with over 300 arrests and winning team of the year in 2008 and 2009 along with police Dog Trials in 2009.

"Their uncanny success at locating vulnerable missing people gained them the reputation of having ‘magic dust’ wherever they went.

"Due to Roy’s size and velocity, during criminal work it’s fair to say dog section colleagues dreaded training where they would have to run from PD Roy, especially with his cheeky and uncanny art of always finding the worn part of the sleeve with the least padding and most discomfort for the stooge.

"Not only did Roy’s impressive bite work gain the respect and fear of his peers but he also debuted on ITV Wales Tonight and his gun attack video went viral on social media with over 147,000 views.

"But most importantly, not only was Roy incredibly successful with his career, he was the most loving and kind natured dog. When Roy wasn’t demonstrating his skills, he was happily surrounded and petted by children during school visits and demonstrations.

"Roy settled well into his retirement and will be sadly missed by his handler and family and all those who had the privilege of working alongside him."