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Police dogs Kes and Kiro go up in the world - to the top of Emley Moor TV mast

Photoshoot hounds are thought to be the first dogs ever to go up iconic landmark

They are believed to be the first dogs up Emley Moor TV mast.

In what was described as a small step for a dog but a giant leap for dogkind, police dogs Kes and Kiro took a seven-minute lift ride to the top of the iconic landmark.

Police dog Kes poses at the top of Emley Moor TV mast. Please credit: Defining Image Photography

The experienced police hounds – accompanied by handlers Duncan Matthews and John Leak – took the noisy, jerky elevator in their stride.

But when they reached the viewing platform they were left breathless and panting at the stunning Yorkshire landscape stretched out below them.

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Serving police officer Duncan, 37, who looks after retired Kiro, said: “We think they might be the first dogs up Emley Moor Mast and it was an experience of a lifetime – for us if not the dogs.

Police dog Kes enjoys the view from the top of Emley Moor TV mast, posing for a charity calendar for FiresideK9.

“It’s a seven-minute lift ride from bottom to top and it’s quite cramped. It’s a long and noisy ride but the dogs are quite chilled out. It’s certainly worth it for the views.

“We’d had the visit booked for weeks and were keeping our fingers crossed for the weather. There was good visibility and it was a great day.”

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The two Wakefield-based dog handlers ventured to the top with Holmfirth-based photographer Gerry Slade, of Defining Image Photography.

Duncan and John help run the charity FiresideK9, which raises money to cover the vet’s bills of retired police dogs.

Retired police dog Kiro, owned by Duncan Matthews, enjoys the view from the top of Emley Moor TV mast, posing for a charity calendar for FiresideK9.

When police dogs retire, usually aged between seven and nine, they go to live with their handlers but no pet insurer will offer affordably priced cover.

Duncan set up the charity four years ago and has helped many owners cope with bills that easily run into hundreds of pounds.

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The charity is to publish a calendar for 2017 showing police dogs in some of Yorkshire’s best-known locations.

Planning is still at an early stage and Emley Moor was the obvious first choice. Harewood House in Leeds is next in line.

Retired police dog Kiro, owned by Duncan Matthews, enjoys the view from the top of Emley Moor TV mast, posing for a charity calendar for FiresideK9.

“Emley Moor is Yorkshire’s best known landmark and we thought about doing pictures with the tower in the background but then thought why not try to go to the top?” said Duncan.

“If you don’t ask you don’t get and Arqiva, which owns the mast, said yes.”

The mast, now officially called the Arqiva Tower, is the UK’s tallest freestanding structure at 1,084ft (330m) and is grade II listed.

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The charity signed up high-profile Sky News presenter Kay Burley as its patron after her own dog started following West Yorkshire’s police dogs on Twitter!

Duncan said he’d love to raise £1,000 from the calendar and wants businesses to sponsor a month to offset printing costs and boost profits.

Anyone wanting to find out more can e-mail Duncan on info@firesidek9.org or find them on Facebook or Twitter.



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