THE FIRST police dog to arrive on the scene of the Manchester Arena attack has been honoured for his public service.

Mojo has been awarded the PDSA Order of Merit for "devotion to duty", after he searched the Arena for explosives just moments after a terrorist bomb killed 22 people.

The experience had a traumatic effect on Mojo and he began suffering from stress-related alopecia in the weeks after the attack.

Out of respect for Mojo's health, the force decided to retire him in August.

Mojo is now enjoying the quiet life at the home of his former handler and best friend, PC Phil Healy.

PC Healy, from Atherton, said: "We were the first dog team on the scene and it was very chaotic.

“He was working well but he was somehow different. It was as though he didn’t want to be there, among the carnage that surrounded him.

"But he did his job like a professional.

A week later, Mojo's hair began falling out in lumps.

PC Healy added: “There is no doubt that what Mojo experienced that night had a lasting effect on him, as it has all of us.

"Receiving the PDSA Order of Merit is a fitting way to recognise his actions.

"I am extremely proud of him.”

Since retirement, Mojo's hair has mostly grown back.

"There are still some patches but hopefully he will be back to his fluffy pom-pom self soon", said PC Healy.

A spokesman for PDSA said: "Mojo worked tirelessly under conditions he’d never experienced before.

"For that devotion to duty, the PDSA is honoured to recognise him.”