WARSAW, Poland (AP) – They find survivors in collapsed buildings, chase after refugees, foil drugs, explosives smugglers, help control rioters. Everything in exchange for food, accommodation, sometimes hitting on the head.
But when it comes time to retire, state care ends for dogs, horses serving in the Polish police, border guards and fire service. They are given without guarantees of their future well-being.
Following requests from members of the Stakeholder Service, the Ministry of the Interior proposed new legislation that would allow the animals to be given official status, and the pension was paid to help cover the often-costly care costs faced by their new owners.
Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski described the bill as a “moral obligation” that should have unanimous support when it is submitted to parliament for approval later this year.
“More than one person has been saved, more than one dangerous criminal has been caught by service animals,” he said in February.
The new law will affect about 1,200 dogs and more than 60 horses currently in service.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, about 10% of animals retire each year. Most dogs are German or Belgian Shepherds.
Powell Cuchnio, the guard of the Orbita dog who stabbed the Warsaw police, says retired dogs almost always require expensive medical care for complaints of back strain.
He said the pension would “certainly be a big help, it will make things easier”.
The bill would establish an unwritten rule that pet owners must first keep animals before they are offered for adoption.
But it is even more likely that it will increase state liability for animals before retirement and provide financial support to owners.
Slavomir Ulkovyak, 50, a former police officer who cared for retired service dogs and horses at Poland’s only dedicated Veterans’ Corner, said regular state payments would ease concerns about bills amounting to thousands of zlotys (dollars) a month.
The farm-like private farm in the central Polish city of Gerlatovo is like a farm, shelter, with 10 dogs and five retired police horses in a large paddock.
The oldest horse there, Hippol, is about 20 years old and almost blind. Walkowiak says he would have had little chance of surviving in the big stable.
Walkowiak says many service dogs are chained to holes or given inappropriate tasks because people think they will be a good caretaker for farms or other property. This is not always the case.
“The dog may suddenly remember that he was taught to bite, it will start biting, and when he is alone at home he can break the sofa, because there must be something in its mouth,” Ulokovyak said.
Warsaw police officer Dariusz Malkowski says he will have to pay the price of his 13-year-old black rival Rival if he behaves after retiring.
A stable box near Warsaw can cost 2,500 zlotys ($ 650) a month. The average monthly pre-tax salary in Poland is about 5,500 zlotys ($ 1,400).
Was patrolling with Malkovsky. Sitting on 13-year-old Romeo II or Romek, Katarzyna Kuchinska, who can identify with Kuchinska by her voice.
“These animals have worked for the state, they have done a good job, they should have the right to health care, to a proper pension in the case of horses on green pastures,” said Kuchinska.