A community in Wareham, Massachusetts, is raising money for a police dog’s retirement expenses after hearing that he needed to undergo medical care.
Rolf, a K9 German Shepherd who has served the Wareham Police Department for nine years, had gotten older and has become the responsibility of his handler, Officer Mike Phinney, the Wareham Week reported.
When Phinney’s friend Geoff Worrell heard that Rolf was having medical issues, he teamed up with a local consignment shop owner to sell raffle tickets that will help fundraise money towards Rolf’s medical expenses.
Worrell explained that when police dogs, or K9s, retire, the officer that worked with them takes them on for the rest of their lives. Unlike their human counterparts, K9s do not receive health insurance or any other benefits after retiring from the police force.
Throughout January, Worrell and consignment shop owner Traci Medieros sold tickets at one for $5, or three for $10, raising a little more than $1,500 for the aging dog.
On January 31, the fundraiser organizers raffled off 43-inch screen television to the winner in time for the Super Bowl.
Worrell said the experience was an opportunity to spread awareness, adding that he would like to see a policy in place that offers monetary support for retired police dogs.
Other communities have rallied around their retired K9s so they can stay with their owners as they gracefully age through retirement. A Washington state community in King County rallied around its Black Diamond K9 dog going blind so he could keep his eyesight in October 2019, according to the Courier-Herald.
And in Minnesota, a community in West St. Paul raised $9,000 so an officer could keep his retired K9 partner, the Grand Forks-Herald reported.