Poland has proposed new legislation for dogs and horses that serve in the country's Police, Border Guard and Fire Service. As per the new law, dogs and horses who have served the govt bodies would get pension after their retirement.
Service animals help detect bombs, locate survivors in collapsed buildings, track down fugitives, foil drugs and explosives smugglers and help control rowdy crowds. They do all this hard work in exchange for food, lodging and an occasional pat on the head. The care for them ends when the time comes for their retirement. They are left to fend for themselves with no security for their future.
Following appeals from concerned service members, the Interior Ministry of Poland has proposed new legislation that would give these animals an official status and paid retirement to help cover the often costly care bills their new owners face. The new law would affect some 1,200 dogs and more than 60 horses currently in service.
Pawel Kuchnio, handler of Warsaw police sniffer dog Orbita, says retired dogs almost always require expensive medical care, to deal with complaints such as strained hind joints.
"The pension money will certainly be a great help and will make things easier," he said. The bill would confirm the unwritten rule that the animals' handlers have priority in keeping them before they're put up for adoption. But more importantly, it would extend the responsibility of the state towards animals during their retirement time and secure financial support for the owners.