Police in Nottinghamshire, England want to make sure retired police dogs are taken care of. They are offering pensions for their retired police dogs, the first police force in the country to do so.
The pension fund was approved by Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping. The fund is designed to help pay the veterinary bills of retired police dogs. Each dog is eligible to receive up to £500 per year for three years. While other police forces have set up independent trusts to help care for their retired police dogs, this is the first in-house fund in the United Kingdom.
The plan is to be put into action next month. It has been met with some criticism from taxpayers who think the money should be spent elsewhere. Tipping doesn’t agree.
“You’ve got to make judgments about priorities,” said Tipping. “We look after the people who work for us who have been police officers and staff – they get a decent retirement and I think it’s important the same is done for the dogs.”
The Nottingham police force currently has 26 police dogs and on average six retire each year from their force. Previously when police dogs retired they would go home with their handlers who would be responsible for paying for any vet bills on their own. Some retired police dogs have injuries resulting from their work on the force that will require treatment once they retire.
“These dogs give wiling and sterling service over the years in protecting the public so I am delighted to approve a scheme that will ensure continuing medical help once their work is done,” said Tipping.
PC Matt Rogers agrees with Tipping, he works with police dog Rossi and he believes Rossi saved his life. Rogers was faced with a suspect who was wielding an axe Rossi jumped eight feet in the air and grabbed the axe out of the suspect’s hand. Rossi will be retiring sometime in the next year or so after a long career helping to arrest hundreds of suspects.
Rossi currently needs a treatment of antibiotics every few months for a recurring infection. That infection came from a complication from an old operation. The new pension plan would help pay for the cost of his antibiotic treatment.