Sick K-9 dog elicits concernOn the evening news recently...

Letters

September 05, 1999

Sick K-9 dog elicits concern

On the evening news recently was a report of a dog that is a member of the Anne Arundel County canine corps. This 8-year-old highly decorated shepherd has been in service for 7 years. He is working now because the cancer he has is in remission due to chemotherapy he is receiving.

These animals work side by side with an officer in the field. They apprehend the bad guys. They find lost children. They locate cadavers. They search for drugs and explosives. Look what they are doing in Turkey at this moment. They listen for and locate signs of life in areas that humans can't. They aren't inanimate tools. They are living partners.

All of the law enforcement agencies in this state offer packages to their human employees that include medical benefits. Why don't they carry veterinary insurance? These animals, dogs and horses are responsible for human life.

Why can't Maryland procure a medical benefit for these animals? If all of the agencies using dogs or horses were joined as a group, the premium could not possibly be that expensive. It costs thousands of dollars to train these law-enforcement partners.

I have also discovered that many agencies set an arbitrary retirement age for their animals. Putting one out of service at 10 years does not always give the greatest return on tax dollars. Maybe we need to start a rescue group for working law enforcement animals like the ones set up for retired greyhounds.

Kristin A. Luhn

Frederick

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