Thanks to two big-hearted cops, Georgia’s hard working canines now have a retirement plan.
Law enforcement K9 handlers Kyle Briley and Kirk McGlamery cofounded the The Georgia K9 Retirement Foundation, a nonprofit that provides money to help cover the medical bills of retired police pups.
“The Georgia K9 Retirement Foundation is a non-profit organization that focuses on providing retired K9s medical assistance for the first two years after retirement,” Briley told The Statesboro Herald. “In order to be eligible, the handler or adopter must apply to the foundation and, if approved, can be eligible for reimbursement up to $1,000 per year for two years.”
According to Briley, police dogs are often adopted by their handlers when they retire, and most go on to become beloved members of their families. However, retired K9s can experience costly medical challenges. “Most agencies and cities or counties provide the K9s with everything that is needed during their working career,” he said. “It's not uncommon for the agency to not continue to pay for medical costs after the retirement, and the responsibilities fall on the handler or adopter.”
That’s where The Georgia K9 Retirement Foundation comes in, Briley says. “There are stories across the nation about working K9s not being able to have proper medical care during retirement due expensive procedures needed to treat work-related injuries,” he said. “This is a foundation that they can support that will truly benefit the dogs, even after their working careers are over.”
Briley says that the organization has been met with universal support, which is good, because the foundation is funded by donations. Those who wish to donate can mail checks made out to “Georgia K9 Retirement Foundation” to 28 East Main St. For further information or to submit an application visit the foundation’s Facebook page.