Police dogs get special care after retirement

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. -- Law enforcement dogs spend most of their lives protecting their human partners and keeping communities safe.

But when they retire, they are the ones that need special help.

In Douglas County, the nonprofit group Friends of Douglas County K-9s provide that care.

Tank is a perfect example. He is a Dutch shepherd who served with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for six years.

He retired two years ago.

“He actually retired because he was diagnosed with cancer," deputy Marsee Kelly said. "He had to have a toe amputated. That costs thousands and thousands of dollars that I would not have been able to pay for myself.”

Friends of Douglas County K-9s helps with all their veterinarian checkups, shots, medication and food.

“They are in charge of that vet care at the point in their life where they are getting older and having problems like arthritis and problems from just being a working dog their whole life," Franktown Animal Clinic veterinarian Kim Vanderholm said.

Tank is getting better and the cancer has not returned.

“As much as dogs are tools and they help us do our jobs, they’re still an animal and because they are so selfless, they deserve the best care possible at the end of their life," Kelly said. "After giving what they do to protect us. Intimidating, he loved to do his job.”

Friends of Douglas County K-9s is hosting an annual fundraiser, “Howling Good Time” on Sept. 19 in Castle Pines.

It is still looking for items for a silent auction. Donations can be made online.

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