A RETIRED fire investigation dog has passed away following a deterioration in his health.

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service announced the death of black Cocker Spaniel, Scrappy, on social media on Wednesday.

A spokesman said: "We are devastated to announce that retired fire investigation dog Scrappy passed away yesterday following a deterioration in his health.

"Thanks for your loyal service to the communities of County Durham and Darlington, sleep well bonny lad, you’ll be missed by many."

Scrappy started his life with Clare Bearpark, who said he was earmarked for the fire service as a puppy after passing tests with flying colours.

In a tribute to Scrappy, she said: “You started life as a memorable member of our little family, and we knew you were destined for amazing things.

“We’re so glad that you got to fulfill your dreams and become a hero for many.  "Rest In Peace little fella.”