The Abbotsford Police Foundation (APF) is giving thanks to two organizations for helping to provide a comfortable life for police dogs after they retire.
The Mary Wakefield Animal Welfare Fund (MWAWF) and the Abbotsford Community Foundation (ACF) provide grants of $1,500 for each retiree in the force’s K9 Retirement Program.
“The APF retired police dog fund has been instrumental in providing the necessary vet care and maintenance for the retired police dogs who served the community of Abbotsford,” said Sgt. Chris Scott, a supervisor of the Lower Mainland District Integrated Police Dog Service Unit (LMD IPDS).
The K9 Retirement Program was created in 2018 to cover the the cost of care for K9 officers leaving active duty. Two of its representatives, Darcie Bowie and her sister Alexis Milton, said their great-aunt Vicky set up the MWAWF with the ACF in 2004, “as a way to give back to the community and share her love of animals.”
Up until 2018, when a K9 officer retired, their full cost of medical care and maintenance became the burden of the new owner, most often a APD officer with whom the dog served.
The ACF funded a pilot project that year to provide the owners with support to cover items such as food, veterinary expenses and pet health insurance each year.
“On behalf of the entire department and in particular the LMD IPDS, I’d like to thank the Abbotsford Police Foundation, the Abbotsford Community Foundation and the Mary Victoria Wakefield Animal Welfare Fund for their generous support,” said APD Chief Mike Serr.
There are currently two retired dogs – Deuce and Duke – supported by the K9 Retirement Program.
“RPSD Deuce and RPSD Duke both had long and distinguished careers. However, being a police service dog can be extremely physically demanding so it’s very important that they have the best vet care and maintenance,” Scott said.
“The benefits of this program have ensured this and they have been able to enjoy a healthy and happy retirement as a result.”