Police animal shelter
The performance of some tasks by the police is difficult to imagine without the possibility to support dogs and service horses. Therefore, it is very important to care for these animals after they have retired.
As of December 21, 2021, the provisions of the Law of August 21, 2021 amending the Police Act and certain other laws will apply to police dogs and horses that cease to serve with the police. They ensure that these animals remain in the condition of their unit throughout their lives, and their guardian is primarily the current guide or police officer-rider. Importantly, at the request of the guardians, the Commander-in-Chief of Police can authorize animals that have left service before the entry into force of the new regulations to be given the same support as animals that are retiring and under the Act.
The first service dog to benefit from the new regulations was the Komik, a patrol and sniffer dog from the provincial police headquarters in Łódź, who was unable to assist the police in his work due to back problems and retired on January 5. 2022.
After the new regulations came into effect, 40 service dogs were retired from the police force. Their guardians received support in the form of funding for their pets’ food, as well as covering the costs of preventive treatments and treatments.
Four horses and 45 dogs that left the service before the new regulations came into effect also received similar support from the Chief of Police. The dogs supported were German Shepherds, Belgian Shepherds Malinois, Dutch Shepherds and Fox Terriers, who patrol and track tasks (24), patrol (4), track (2), track people according to the assumptions of mantrailing (1), to search for odors of materials explosives (4), of drug odor (7), of human cadaver odor (3).
Service dogs supported by the Commander-in-Chief of Police live in different parts of the country and have worked diligently for the police for many years.
Currently there are 902 dogs and 67 horses with the police. There are 862 dogs in the preventive service, 34 in the criminal service and 6 in the counter-terrorist service.
The most numerous quadrupeds are patrol and sniffer dogs, which are used for patrol duties and following human tracks. The police count 461. In addition, the police have 69 sniffer dogs that are mainly used for tracing human traces and searching for missing persons, 104 to search for the smell of explosives and 157 to search for the smell of drugs.
The most popular breeds with the police are German Shepherds and Belgian Shepherds Malinois, while the most popular breeds of service horses are the Silesian breed and the Polish half-breed noble horse.
Police animals retire, for example in the event of permanent loss of condition, because of a health condition that does not promise improvement or because of the lack of progress in training.
A dog may retire from the age of 9 and a horse from the age of 15.
Providing support to animals means that they are extensively cared for when they leave the police force. In this way, their years of hard work is appreciated.
(KGP Prevention Agency / photo: Jacek Herok BKS KGP and the private archive of animal keepers)