Medical bills for retired members of the City of Reading’s K-9 Unit are piling up and a support group is asking for assistance from the public to help pay them.
“These retired K-9s have served our community but, unlike retired human officers, the K-9s do not receive pensions,” said Keith Claytor, president of the Friends of the Reading Police K-9 Unit. “They deserve our support now.”
Since the Friends organization was founded in 2008 to help restart the K-9 unit in the City of Reading, the Reading Police Department has retired seven K-9 officers. The K-9 handlers who then care for their partners during retirement are faced with mounting medical bills.
Recently, several handlers have incurred major medical costs for their retired K-9 partners.
For example, retired K-9 Officers Rocky and Reno both suffered from bloat that required surgery and they had to be rushed to emergency care in the past year. Retired K-9 Officer Caine became ill and received medical attention, but he passed away.
“The costs for some of this care has been staggering,” Claytor said.
The Friends of the Reading Police K-9 Unit is unable to assist with those costs under its current structure. The Friends’ fund at Berks County Community Foundation is designated for the acquisition, training, and maintenance of the active members of Reading’s K-9 Unit. As such, those funds cannot be used to assist the retired, former members of the unit.
The Friends is respectfully asking its supporters to make a donation to the retired K-9 officers via this link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/rpd-retired-k9s