By Matthew Roscoe

CREDIT: Twitter

The Polish government is seeking to introduce retirement benefits for dogs and horses that have served in the police force as they currently receive no state support once they finish work. This move would essentially mean that their handlers, who normally adopt them after they have finished duty, have to continue looking after them at their own expense.

However, on Thursday, February 18, the interior ministry announced that it would be submitting legislation plans to provide for these animals after they finish work, as reported by Polsat News.

We use the animals and then, after they finish service, we discard them,” a Polish border guard – handler of a dog called Elmo – told local media, adding that he “will not have to worry about caring from my own pocket for a dog that for years served the state and citizens for free.”

They are extraordinary animals. Thanks to them, many human lives have been saved and many dangerous criminals have been caught. Caring for them is our ethical duty.

“The role played by our four-legged officers cannot be overestimated,” said Jarosław Szymczyk, the head of Poland’s General Police Headquarters. “That is why it was so important to sort out their fate after the end of their service.”

It is not just handlers that take in these amazing animals, charities also shelter police dogs and horses after retirement, with one stating that it hopes the new legislation will also apply to animals that have already finished service.

“It is important that the law should apply retroactively for retired horses,” said Sławomir Walkowiak, who works at the shelter. Currently, it is maintained by donations from the public.

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