RSPCA inspector Simon Evans and PC Ceri Hassall pic2

PC presented with RSPCA award for outstanding bravery after saving injured puppy

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

A police officer has been presented with an RSPCA award for her outstanding bravery after saving an injured puppy from a river.

PC Ceri Hassall, from South Wales Police, was presented today (13 October) with an RSPCA Bronze Gallantry Medal after going above and beyond to prevent the three month-old puppy from being swept away from the stormy waters in January 2015.

Having just finished her night shift PC Hassall was about to get into her car when over the noise of the nearby River Rhondda, in Porth, that was in full spate due to heavy rain, she heard a loud and desperate wail.

On the embankment of the river just above the waterline she could see a young lurcher puppy sodden, wet and struggling to get a foothold. Having phoned a colleague to help PC Hassall clambered over to the puppy and passed her back to her colleague.

The three-month-old puppy was traumatized, her paws bloodied and there was blood coming from her nose and mouth. There was a swollen wound on the top of her head.

Frightened and shivering with cold, she was taken to a vet. She was treated and fortunately recovered well and was later re-homed by an animal charity and named after her rescuer – Ceri.

With the help of RSPCA inspector Simon Evans, PC Hassall was able to trace the person responsible who was taken to court by the RSPCA. He received 18 weeks imprisonment and a five year disqualification from keeping animals.

RSPCA chief inspector Elaine Spence said: “We are delighted to present PC Ceri Hassall with a Bronze Gallantry Medal. Without her bravery and quick-thinking this puppy would no doubt have lost her grip and been swept away in the river with little hope of survival.

“We were also very grateful for her help in our investigations in this heartbreaking case which resulted in a successful prosecution.”

PC Ceri Hassall said: “It is humbling to receive such a prestigious award for doing something I did not think twice about. I am relieved that my namesake has now been rehomed and is enjoying a life that she deserves.

“Through excellent partnership work with the RSPCA we were able to identify and secure the conviction of the person responsible, and send a strong message that animal cruelty, in any form, will not be tolerated.”