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Supporting Retired Police Dogs

For over 100 years, police dogs have served alongside officers to protect the public. Years spent chasing criminals, detecting drugs and searching for explosive devices can lead to these brave animals experiencing costly medical conditions in retirement. 

The Railway Dogs Benevolent Fund was established to support dogs who have completed their service with British Transport Police (BTP). 

The Fund provides grants towards the cost of their care, including ongoing medical treatment, so these loyal and hardworking animals can enjoy a long and happy retirement.

Police Dogs at work

British Transport Police was the first police force in the country to use dogs. In 1908, Airedale Terriers Jim, Vic, Mick and Ben patrolled with officers of the North Eastern Railway Police (which later became part of BTP).  

Today, BTP’s Dog Section is one of the largest in Britain, with more than 50 dogs. German Shepherds are used for crime scene work, searching and public order, while Springer Spaniels and Labradors undertake searches for explosives. 

PD Albert, German Shepard 2019

Putting their paws up

Police dogs generally retire around the age of nine, which means most will work for eight years. If a dog is injured, falls ill or is unable to perform the tasks they are trained for they may retire sooner. 

When a dog retires all costs relating to their health and welfare become the responsibility of their owner; usually the handler who takes the dog on as a family pet. 

Vet bills can be extremely costly, and it is difficult to obtain adequate pet insurance cover because of pre-existing ailments, injuries sustained at work and conditions related to the dangerous nature of policing.