A REVIEW has been launched after an Essex Police dog died. 

Gunner, a German shepherd aged five, was carrying out fetch and return exercises in Stanway when he collapsed.

He was taken to a vet in Colchester for treatment, but was confirmed dead.

Chief Inspector Tom Simons said: “This is a very sad occasion.

“The bond between our handlers and their dogs is very strong and the officer involved is very upset at the loss.

"While they are working dogs, these animals also become a close and important member of each police officer's family.

“All the initial indications are that Gunner died of natural causes, but a review into the circumstances of his death will be carried out.”

It is the second police dog to die in three months.

Baron, a German shepherd, also five, was undertaking a training exercise with his handler at a disused building in Danbury in November when he fell from a roof.

He was injured and had to be put down.

A review into the circumstances of his death was opened by the force.