Retiring Police Dogs to Receive Pensions

Photo: BBC

Rossi the Belgian Shepherd protected his handler from a drunken man wielding an axe. (BBC)

In the UK, some retiring police dogs are getting special recognition for their lifetime of service. In the first three years of retirement, each Nottinghamshire police dog will receive up to 500 euros a year. The pension was created to help with medical costs related to injuries or illnesses. In the coming years, nine police dogs are expected to retire and their handlers will certainly welcome the much-deserved pension for their four-legged partners.

I have spent the last few months filming with an exceptional K-9 unit here in the States, and have seen firsthand the unique bond that exists between a police K-9 and his or her handler. Dog and human rely on and trust each other deeply. To these brave policemen and women, their K-9 is more than just a dog. He is a partner, a friend, and many times, a hero.

I hope that a pension scheme, like the one developed in Nottinghamshire, will become a more widespread practice. These dogs give their mind, body, and spirit to the job, and often suffer from ongoing medical conditions as a result of the hard work they perform on an almost daily basis. The pension may not cover all the dog's medical needs, but it is at least a reminder that these hardworking heroes are not forgotten after retirement, and their service has not gone unnoticed. Way to go Nottinghamshire!

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