Because the work police dogs do is so physically demanding, families who adopt retired police dogs can be left with substantial and costly health issues. It’s an unfortunate reality: Medical issues and associated costs can dictate how well, how long or even if police dogs can enjoy retirement.
Ned’s Wish is a society committed to supporting law enforcement by providing financial and educational support to enhance the quality of life for K-9 retirees in Canada. After human police officers finish serving their communities, their pension funds support them. Due to the cost of health care for retired police dogs, the potential to enjoy retirement can quite literally rest on a dime. If health care costs become too high, a dog’s quality of life can be significantly reduced, or even cut-short.
Do the math. On average, police dogs retire around seven years of age, and the average life span of a police dog is between nine and twelve years. Police dogs comprise a small portion of the canine population, but the majority of their lives are spent in service to ensure the safety and well-being of others. Retired police dogs are near the end of their lives, so by virtue Ned’s Wish is about quality, not quantity. Ned’s Wish exists to help retired police dogs enjoy their remaining years.
Who was Ned?
Like most RCMP police dogs, Ned was born at the Police Service Dog Training Centre (PDSTC) in Innisfail, Alberta, on May 21, 2003. He was assigned to Cst. Garfield Henderson of the RCMP Valleyview Detachment in Alberta in June 2005 to be raised in the PDSTC imprinting program – supervised by Cpl. Phil Graham of the RCMP in Peace River, Alta. Prior to Ned, Cst. Henderson raised several potential police dogs. Ned transferred to Comox Valley, B.C. in July 2005 with Cpl. Graham, who continued training and imprinting Ned. Cpl. Graham retired police dog “Ringo” in January 2006 and entered formal Police Dog Training with Ned in January 2006. The course was completed in 20 working days – the average at the time was 65 working days. Cpl. Graham and Ned officially began working operationally as a team at Comox Valley in February 2006.