With retirement benefits being slashed across the world, it is refreshing to hear that a police department in England is planning to add to its obligations by paying pension benefits to their retired police dogs who like their owners, have spent their lives protecting the public.
The scheme, believed to be the first of its kind in the country and most likely the world, was announced on November 4th by Paddy Tripping, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire, a county in East Midlands, England. According to Tripping, the officials wanted to recognize the brave canines as 'officers in their own right' and ensure that they are well taken care of upon retirement.
The benefits which will start next month, will comprise of a total stipend of 1,500 Pound Sterling (about $2,400 USD) and be paid over three years. While that may not be enough for them to live off, it will be sufficient to pay the former four-legged officer's medical bills. Currently, most retired police dogs are adopted by their handlers who bear the burden of all their costs.
One of the first pension recipients from the 26 police dogs that currently work in the Nottinghamshire force is expected to be eight-year old Rossi, a brave Belgian Shepherd. According to his handler PC Rogers, Rossi recently saved his life when he leaped 8 feet into the air to grab an ax from the hand of a drunken suspect that the officer was trying to arrest. The handler is naturally thrilled that Rossi's bravery and willingness to risk his life in the line of duty, is going to be acknowledged when he retires in a few years!
Resources: Telegraph.co.uk, nottinghampost.com