September 2022 Charity Spotlight: Retired Police Canine Foundation
Before retiring from the New York Police Department (NYPD), Chief was one of the first K-9 units to patrol the New York City subway system after 9/11. During his eight active years with the NYPD, Chief was awarded national citations for patrol work and was involved in counter terror operations.
Law enforcement dogs provide our communities and our families with unmatched protection from criminals and terrorists. With their incredible sense of smell, these dogs offer the most effective method to detect explosives and weapons being smuggled into the US. Specially trained dogs also help catch arsonists, find illegal drugs, and detect tons of illegal drugs and dangerous agricultural products from being smuggled across our borders. These dogs also apprehend thousands of criminals every year and guard sensitive government buildings.
But what happens when a courageous law enforcement K9 becomes unsuitable for service work because of age or a physical disability and is ready to retire from active duty?
Typically, the dog’s original handler will want to adopt the dog as a pet, but many law enforcement families cannot afford the high cost of veterinary bills (up to $3,000 per year) for aging dogs who have often been injured in the line of duty. Another obstacle is housing - active-duty law enforcement dogs are permitted by law in most rental housing, but retired dogs do not have the same protection. Therefore, dog handlers who rent their homes are not able to adopt without struggling to find a new, affordable place to live with their dog. As a result, many retired law enforcement dogs ultimately end up in a shelter, and sadly, some are euthanized because there is no one to care for them.
The Solution - Retired Police Canine Foundation to the rescue (literally!)
While caring for Chief, Tina Geraci saw firsthand the challenges law enforcement dogs faced when they retired, which is why Tina started the Retired Police Canine Foundation (RPCF). The goal of RPCF is to raise awareness about the tremendous service these dogs provide in homeland security, community police work, and border patrol – and to relieve the financial burden of those who adopt these dogs when they retire by assisting with vet bills, securing housing, and assisting with other expenses.
Among other things, the Retired Police Canine Foundation works to achieve the following:
Recruit and negotiate with veterinarians, dog food suppliers, and other service providers to provide free or discounted services to Military and law enforcement officers who have adopted retired dogs.
Help pay for medical care for retired Military and law enforcement dogs.
Negotiate with landlords to allow handlers and their retired dogs to remain in their rental homes or apartments.
Work to give retired Military and law enforcement dogs the same rights as service dogs who can live anywhere with their owners and accompany their owners into all public places.
Raise awareness about the effectiveness of these dogs in protecting our country from terrorists and our communities from crime.
The 4Knines Monthly Spotlight is designed to shine a light on the work of non-profits like the Retired Police Canine Foundation. 4Knines is proud to support the work of RPCF with a monetary donation and product donations. We hope you will consider making a donation as well!