A sniffer dog has had a £25,000 bounty placed on its head by criminals because it is so good at its job, its owner has claimed.
Springer spaniel Scamp managed to detect £6m worth of illegal tobacco in a year, causing headaches for smugglers and black market dealers.
His powerful sense of smell led to a string of court cases in Birmingham, Sussex, Newcastle, Northampton and Great Yarmouth, causing criminals to target the animal.
Owner Stuart Phillips, 40, said: “We had to stop working in one part of the country last year, because there was a £25,000 bounty put on his head.
“It was believed to be linked to an organised crime group and the relevant authorities were informed.”
Mr Phillips has become unpopular among black market criminals, he said, and has faced retribution because of his dog’s work.
He explained: “I’ve also had death threats, my windscreen has been smashed and my tyres slashed.
“It’s understandable really, when you’re upsetting some really nasty people.”
The dog trainer, who runs B.W.Y Canine Ltd, trains dogs to find tobacco, firearms, drugs, explosives, meat and even human remains.
He works with over 100 local authorities but lives in Llandissilio, Pembrokeshire.
Mr Phillips said tobacco smuggling, which Scamp helps to stop, causes problems for authorities in Wales.