Retired police dogs to get pensions

A police force is to pay pensions to police dogs who have had their day.

Officials in Cambridgeshire say the cost of retired animals' food and medical care should come from the public purse.

Police dogs normally live with their handlers when they are no longer deemed fit for duty and handlers have paid for their keep.

But a spokesman said bosses had decided it was unfair to expect handlers to pick up the tab - and right to recognise the public service dogs had provided.

Sources said bills for retired dogs would run into hundreds of pounds.

"Previously when a dog retired, the officer would sign a disclaimer taking full responsibility for the dog's actions and medical care," said the spokesman.

"However, they serve us for seven or eight years as good police dogs and often only have two years of retirement on average so it's only right to provide for them during this time. So we put together a package for the dogs."

He added: "The pension covers the retired dog's food, vaccinations and worming, vet bills as well as complementary therapy."