POLICE dogs that put their lives on the line are the reason behind two coppers’ mission to raise as much money as possible to give their canine colleagues a happy retirement.

Durham Police officers Mike ‘Spike’ Fisher and Nick Prest, who have both appeared in the Channel 5 hit show Police Interceptors, will take on a 113 mile Coast to Coast cycle ride today.

The amateur cyclists will complete the mammoth journey in a day, all in aid of Spennymoor-based PawsUp, a retired police dogs benevolent fund, and are inviting members of the public to join them on the last leg of the tour.

PC Fisher said: “Every day, police dogs across the country put their lives on the line for us, it’s time for us to show what we will do for them.

“They are heroes in their own right - supporting our communities and helping us catch criminals or sniff out thousands of pounds worth of drugs.

“It’s going to be tough but we will dig deep and power through. Once our legs have given up, we’ll finish the cycle ride with our heart.”

The PCs will set off from Morecambe at 8.30am and head through Kirkby Lonsdale, Sedbergh, Kirkby Stephen, Middleton-in-Teesdale, Barnard Castle, Bishop Auckland, Spennymoor, Fishburn and Wynyard before finishing on the coastline at Station Lane, Seaton Carew at around 7pm.

Dog handler Ian Squire, the founder of PawsUp and colleague of the two cyclists, will be driving a support van.

He said: “The money raised will go towards caring for retired dogs, giving owners a helping hand with vets bills and such like. It is a kind of pension pot for them really, assisting with the day to day costs of looking after the animals after they put their ‘paws up’.”

He added: “The lads, who are not only colleagues, but friends, see first-hand the benefit of the dogs and what they bring to the policing role. It is a fantastic gesture and I am proud of their efforts.”

Budding bikers are invited to join the pair on the last six miles of the challenge and can meet them at the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit at 1 Chapel Lane North, Wynyard, TS22 5TH, at the estimated arrival time of 5pm.

Children can join the officers from about half a mile from the finish - meeting at the Ford Garage, adjacent to the roundabout at the junction of Brenda Road (B1277) and Seaton Lane.

Please Follow the PawsUp Bob Facebook page for live updates. To donate visit pawsup.org.uk/donate