A FORMER police wildlife officer and his wife are enjoying success with a business turning deer antlers into dog chews.

The naturally-shed antlers have attracted the interest of Waitrose and are area being stocked by the A*Pets online store.

Staglers was started by John Palmer-Snellin, who for many years was Dorset Police’s wildlife officer, along with his wife Sandra, who runs Farmer Palmer’s farm park.

They marked the business’s first anniversary by investing in a Vauxhall Combo van with branding of their own design.

John Palmer-Snellin said: “We sat around the family kitchen table with our two children and each drew a picture of what our vehicle should look like. Surprisingly, the main key points were on all of the drawings.

“Working on the principal of wanting to be the centre of attention I aimed for a design that would make people say ‘What's that coming over the hill?’” The van, obtained via Alan Hocking at Eden Vauxhall, was decorated by Insignia Signs of Nuffield in Poole.

Mr and Mrs Palmer-Snellin sell their chews direct via a website which offers the chews collected, cut, sorted, labelled and delivered.

The antlers drop from wild free-range red deer each mating season. Staglers says its treats are long-lasting, non-sticky, non-smelly and do not stain carpets.

The Palmer-Snellins are preparing gift ideas for the Christmas market and are launching a Jawsome antler dog chew for super-sized dogs.