One of the first police dogs to have a Twitter account is saying fur-well to serving with West Midlands Police by joining his handler in retirement.

The Labrador, Smithy, now has 3,200 followers on social media since Pc Terry Arnett set up the @WMPcsidogsmithy account to share his scent-sational exploits.

Over the last eight years the duo have been involved in hundreds of police investigations.

The nine-year-old Labrador, who is trained to sniff out signs of human life, played a part in the investigation into the disappearance of young mum Nicola Payne from Coventry who went missing 25 years ago.

He has also assisted other forces with high-profile cases including the abduction of five-year-old April Jones from Wales.

The pair's career came to a paw-fect and appropriate end last weekend when they reunited a lost four-year-old child with his family at Crufts, where Smithy was taking part in the force's annual dog display.

Pc Arnett, 49, from Coventry, joined West Midlands Police as a beat bobby in Chelmsley Wood but has since spent most of his career working as a police dog handler and breeder.

Smithy was originally a guide dog before entering the force's dedicated dog training unit in Balsall Heath, Birmingham eight years ago.

The pair will now have the op-paw-tunity to spend more time together in retirement as Terry is now keeping Smithy as a family pet.

He said: "There have been many memorable moments with the dog unit, and particularly Smithy. We have developed such a bond over the years and it is quite fitting we were ready to retire together.

"We have always had great support from the public and Twitter enabled me to give updates on Smithy's progress.

"I feel quite proud of the fact he was one of the first police dogs on social media as it showed that the force was looking at different ways of engaging with people."

The work of other police dogs working with West Midlands Police can be followed @WMPdogs on Twitter.