DOUGLAS COUNTY – Dogs are popular in Colorado, but they are especially prominent among law enforcement, serving as officers alongside their human companions.
In Douglas County, the dogs are especially appreciated and cared for after they retire. Tank, an 8 and a half-year-old Dutch Sheperd, served with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for six years.
He was a loyal companion in catching bad guys with Depuy Marsee Kelly and recently retired with her at home. Deputy Kelly says he may look intimidating but he’s just a big goofball and now, a professional couch potato.
But, caring for retired police dogs is no easy task, nor is it cheap. Tank actually had no choice but to retire after being diagnosed with cancer.
Deputy Kelly said the retired four-legged officer had to have his toe amputated, which cost thousands and thousands of dollars. That is when Friends of Douglas County K9s or K9 Friends came in to help, understanding that most people wouldn’t be able to carry the financial burden of care for these dogs when they need it most.
Dogs like Tank tend to have lots of problems like arthritis and many other issues after being working dogs their whole lives. K9 Friends helps with all vet checkups, shots, medications, and food for the retired pups.
Deputy Kelly said Tank’s cancer hasn’t come back, and she wouldn’t have been able to make that happen without the help of K9 Friends.
“As much as the dogs are tools and help us do our jobs, they’re still an animal, and because they are so selfless I think they deserve the best care possible, at the end of their life, after giving.. ya know what they do to help us,” the deputy said.
For more information on K9 Friends, click here.