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Polish police and prison dogs now eligible to retirement benefits

guard-dog

Warsaw, Poland – The Polish government has extended the retirement benefits already planned for police dogs to canines working in the country’s prison service, Notes from Poland reported.

Last year, Poland’s Interior Ministry proposed new legislation that would give dogs and horses working in the police, border guard and fire departments the right to receive a pension after retiring from public service.

The law, which is believed to affect about 1,200 dogs – mostly German or Belgian Shepherds – and over 60 horses currently working in the departments, came after state employees highlighted the crucial work undertaken by the animals throughout their lives, and voiced their concern at the relative neglect they were sometimes left in after retiring.

“More than one human life has been saved, more than one dangerous criminal caught thanks to the animals in service,” Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski said at the time.

The pension would be collected by the animal’s new owners, and is meant to cover the costs of caretaking – including medical bills – and help reduce the financial burden.

The Polish Justice Ministry has now moved to extend these retirement benefits to the approximately 150 dogs working in the prison service, providing the patrol and drug-sniffing canines with “a whole range of amenities” including funds to cover medicine, veterinary care, and food.

Similar initiatives have been proposed and introduced elsewhere over the past few years, but Poland might be one of the few countries to introduce it nationwide.

In 2013, the regional police department of Nottinghamshire in the UK established a “Police Dog Pension Scheme” to make sure its canines were cared for after leaving their post.

In 2017, a proposal was also brought forward to earmark state funds for the more than 50 sniffer dogs of the Mumbai Police department in India.