WEST Midlands Police has welcomed its first ever well-being and therapy dog.

Truffles joined the force as an eight-week-old pup last month − and members of the public were asked for help to name her.

Out of thousands of entries four names were shortlisted and put to a public vote on Twitter.

Truffles was the people’s choice, and she's now all set to be the force's first-ever well-being dog.

The four-legged friend is a Maltipoo - a fairly new breed of dog with a round head, floppy ears and a small stature and a tendency to resemble a puppy for life.

Part funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Initiative Fund, Truffles has already begun her socialisation and acclimatisation activities and she will undergo a nationally recognised assessment in around six-months time, after which she’ll become a fully-fledged, operational wellbeing dog.

Her main role will be to support the wellbeing of the community.

Much research has gone into how the dog will be able to benefit the relationship between children, vulnerable people and the police.

The pup’s handler, a trained mental health first aider and peer support officer, will take Truffles into school settings to help police connect better with children.

She’ll also be on hand to provide emotional support in the aftermath of difficult or traumatic incidents.

Dudley Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Kim Madill, said: “As we’ve seen in the current climate dogs are an amazing emotional support system.

"They have a calming influence and people are noticeably more relaxed and comfortable in their presence.

“We hope Truffles will encourage, empower and enable people to open up, engage and speak about things that are worrying them particularly in the case of challenging and traumatic situations.

“She has an important job ahead in supporting vulnerable people and younger members of the community.

"We have an important job too in making sure that she’s happy, healthy and thriving in her new role. We’re sure that she’ll enjoy it, and can’t wait to see her in action."