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Tag: retired

The K-9 kiss-off: Friends with no benefits

Izzy was a police dog in Longmont, Colorado until an on-the-job injury led to his retirement. Now, more than two years later, he’s in need of surgery — related to that injury — that could cost $6,000.

That the Fraternal Order of Police in Longmont is turning to the public to try and raise that money is noble.

That they are forced to is wrong.

“He worked for us for nine years and he did a lot of good work in those nine years,” Detective Steve Schulz, president of the Longmont FOP, told the Longmont Times-Call.

As I see it, Longmont owes Izzy for that.

A police dog that serves his city – like a soldier who serves his country — deserves to be taken care of by that city, especially when his injuries are related to that service.

And he deserves to be taken care of FOREVER.

Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case. Retired police dogs in some jurisdictions are euthanized when their service is complete. Others allow them to retire and remain in the care of their partner/handler.

At that point, as with Izzy, the city cuts off any assistance with care, feeding or veterinary bills.

As Izzy’s handler, Detective Bruce Vaughan pointed out, in the city’s view, dogs are “equipment.”

Izzy was injured while helping catch a suspect in April 2007.  After crashing his truck in a high-speed chase, the suspect ran. Izzy chased him down. In the fray that followed, the dog was flipped over and suffered an injury to his spine, which Vaughan said has been diagnosed as a ruptured disk.

The suspect, who had led police on two previous chases,and reportedly had pointed a gun at the head of two different women, was convicted in December 2007 on menacing and drug charges and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Other than the injury, which makes it difficult for the dog to use his hind legs, Vaughan said, Izzy is healthy. “He still has a puppy face. He’s got a lot of energy,” he said.

Donations for the surgery, estimated to cost $6,000, can be made to FOP No. 6 K9 Fund, in care of Guarantee Bank and Trust, P.O. Box 1159, Longmont, Colo. 80502.

Dog-lovers, I suspect, will likely come through for Izzy.

It’s a shame that city he served did not.

Greyhounds Reach the Beach

The butt-sniffing has begun in Dewey Beach.

About 4,000 greyhounds are converging on the Delaware beach this weekend, where — butt-sniffing aside — they generally behave far more civilly than the humans who normally converge there in summer.

The Greyhound Project Inc., a nonprofit organization that promotes and helps the adoption of retired racing greyhounds, is the main sponsor of the event, which began when three women got together on the internet to talk about their greyhounds, then decided to meet in person.

They were only able to find one motel that would allow their dogs — the Atlantic Oceanside on Route 1 in Dewey. “Greyhounds Reach the Beach,” which has grown to atrract thousands and is now in its fourteenth year, has been held there ever since, according to Delmarva Now.

The five-day event include seminars for greyhound owners, greyhound inspired art shows and a Mardi Greys Costume Ball. To learn more, visit the Greyhounds Reach the Beach website.