Poor old Smithy the sniffer dog.
As a loyal public servant he’s been putting his best paw forward by learning how to become the first ever police dog on Twitter.
But tweets such as “Off to work in the next half hour, night shift then three days R&R and a few dog biscuits as a treat!” and “Just got back from my late walk, bedded down in my kennel now for the night” have been drawing criticism of the canine.
His masters at West Midlands Police say the lighthearted posts have a serious message.
Indeed, Smithy has been praised for truly being man’s best friend – not only is he one of two police dogs in the West Midlands force trained to search for blood and human remains but he uses Twitter to appeal for help with serious investigations.
However, officers who set up the page for the two-year-old black labrador have come under fire for wasting public time and money.
As Smithy sits staring at his computer screen, patiently keeping his 500 followers up to date on his antics, he’s ended up in the doghouse with spoilsports like the Taxpayers’ Alliance.
They have dissed the tweeting experiment, informing the BBC that it is a diversion from real police work.
We’re not sure if this has made Smithy paws for thought, he’s certainly an opinionated pooch on the ways of social networking.
Yesterday he tweeted: “Twitter is free and is an encouraged & accepted way to communicate, with the public I serve…”
An hour earlier, however, he’d had other things on his mind – namely “chilling and chewing on a rawhide”.
Smithy’s trainer PC Terry Arnett has jumped to his defence, saying: “It was just something he wanted to do. He felt he and his team weren’t getting the praise they deserved and the next thing I knew he was tweeting.
“We’ve had to have the keyboard adapted so he can type, but apart from that it’s his way of letting people know the important work he and his pals do.”