After their service, military and law enforcement heroes deserve to relax in retirement – after all, they’ve spent their careers putting their lives on the line in order to protect their communities and country. Their K-9 counterparts also bravely face danger for the greater good, but aren’t guaranteed the same benefits as they reach their golden years. That’s where Project K-9 Hero comes in.
This organization is dedicated to making sure that four-legged officers get the care they deserve, even after they’ve retired.
“While a K-9’s medical costs are fully covered by their local, state, or federal law enforcement agency when they are working, they are no longer covered for any costs once they retire,” explains the Project K-9 Hero Facebook page.
When K-9’s are no longer working, their daily care and medical bills become the responsibility of the people who adopt them. And as anyone with a senior dog knows, the cost of caring for an older dog can be tremendous – especially for one that’s had such a demanding career.
“Police K-9’s are worked until they can no longer perform their duties due to health reasons. In their older age of retirement, they need our help the most in making sure they are able to live a comfortable life and are able to enjoy their retirement for as long as possible for their loyal and faithful service,” the Facebook page reads.
Jason Johnson, the founder of Project K-9 Hero, is passionate about this cause and its mission “To protect those who protected our families, our communities and our America.”
The donation-based organization helps retired K-9’s who are accepted into the program by providing funds to go toward essential costs. This includes covering food costs, supplying up to $3,000 for medical bills, and allowing $500 for cremation or burial expenses to honor those who have passed.
Each retired K-9 has a remarkable story from a life and career spent in service. One such dog is Flash, a German Shepherd / Cattle Dog Mix who was found as a stray and scheduled to be euthanized.
Her uncontrollable energy and inability to socialize with other dogs made her nearly “unadoptable.” But after being rescued and trained through a Narcotics K-9 course, she aced her certification and went on to have a successful career. By the time she retired, Flash had over 3,000 deployments and over 2,200 narcotics-related finds.
Because of Project K-9 Hero, Flash is enjoying retirement with the ones she loves most, her handler and family. She is able to get the senior dog care necessary to enable her to live her best life possible. (With her incredible career stats, we’d say she’s more than earned it!)
Flash’s story, which is one of perseverance and second chances, has even become a children’s book.
Thanks to this organization, four-legged heroes are not forgotten in their retirement. Check out the Project K-9 Hero store, where money from the purchases go toward helping retired career canines like Flash.