Many dogs all over the world work tirelessly to give people a better quality of life or to keep them safe. This is often without any reward or thanks, apart from premium dog food if they are lucky.
However, one police force is trying to change that and has decided to introduce a pension scheme for its hardworking dogs.
Police dogs at Nottinghamshire Police will be rewarded with a £1,500 pension pot when they retire. This money will help their owners pay for vet bills, worming, vaccinations and any other costs that the faithful canine may need as they go through retirement.
The scheme will be funded by the taxpayer, which has caused some criticism from campaigners who say the money could be better used. However, the police and crime commissioner has defended the move.
Currently, the police force has 26 dogs working with its team of officers, this means that the scheme will cost taxpayers around £39,000 to pay for this number of dogs to have a happy retirement.
Police and crime commissioner Paddy Tipping defended the scheme, saying that it was important to recognise the hardwork of police dogs and help their handlers with the financial constraints of taking on a dog.
He said that, generally, the handler who has worked with them will take them home when they retire and will have to pay the costs to give the canine a good standard of life throughout the rest of their lives. This includes the cost of food, any medical bills and many other costs associated with looking after a pet.
Mr Tipping added that the doggy pensions will not be "automatically" given to the "handlers on the dog’s retirement" but will be pooled and then owners can claim back expenses for any vet bills.
He added: ‘We give pensions to police officers, we look after the police officers when they retire; the dogs have worked hard all their lives, worked hard for the police. We should make some provision for them as well.
"Let’s be clear about it, if the officers didn’t look after the dogs when they retire from the force they would be put down. The police officers have become very fond of the dogs, they keep the dogs, and I don’t think it’s fair that they have to pay all the bills."
Written by: Hannah