UK
18/09/2013 04:28 BST | Updated 18/09/2013 04:55 BST

RAF Guard Dogs Put Down After Prince William Leaves Military Base

Two military guard dogs used for protection on the base where Prince William was stationed have been put down after the Duke left the RAF Valley.

Brus, a Belgian Shepherd, and Blade, a German Shepherd, were euthanised after the prince completed his final shift as a search and rescue pilot at RAF Valley on Anglesey, The Sun reported.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed the dogs had been put down, but described the timing as "a coincidence".

dog brus prince william

Brus, a Belgian Shepherd at the RAF base

A spokesman said: "It is true two dogs have been put down, a couple of days after [Prince William left RAF Valley earlier this month].

"It was entirely coincidental."

He added the Prince did not work with the dogs, but they had been used to provide extra security at the base.

Bruce, who was aged nine, had "come to the end of his working life", while Blade "had a record of veterinary and behavioural issues" which meant the dog could not be reassigned to other duties, the spokesman said.

airdog brus

The Ministry of Defence confirmed the dogs had been put down

He added: "The department's policy is to re-home all military working dogs at the end of their service life wherever practicable.

"Regrettably, however, there are occasions when they have to be put down. This action is only ever taken as a last resort.

"Unfortunately in this case the dogs were unsuitable for re-homing or alternative duties and so sadly, for the animal's welfare, they had to be put down."

An RAF source said: "To be clear they were RAF Valley security patrol dogs, not sole protection for Prince William. The timing of their sad demise is purely coincidental.

"These dogs had played an invaluable role offering security to our personnel over many years and were much loved by their handlers who had an extremely strong bond with them.

"Sadly these dogs had a record of veterinary and behavioural issues which meant that they could not be reassigned to other duties and they were too aggressive to be kept at home."

But the deaths of the dogs still caused a great deal of consternation on social networks.

Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, are known dog lovers, owning their own cocker spaniel Lupo, who featured in their first family portrait with Prince George, along with Middleton family Labrador Tilly.

A spokeswoman for the Prince declined to comment, saying: "It's a matter for the MoD."