28 retired police and military dogs were found living in filth and neglect — now looking for homes

Police and military dogs are true heroes, and like their human counterparts they deserve the best and a happy retirement when they’ve finished their service.

Sadly, not every hero dog gets repaid with a happy ending. Like the 28 who, after retiring from service, ended up living in terrible and neglectful conditions.

But now, these dogs are in good hands, and many are looking for new homes.

Over the past few months, the Pennsylvania SPCA has taken in 28 dogs — German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois and a Labrador retriever — all of whom are retired working dogs who served their country.

Some served overseas in war-torn countries, others served with law enforcement or worked as sniffer dogs at transportation hubs, the PSPCA wrote in a Facebook post. While you would think these dogs would deserve a peaceful and happy retirement, instead they ended up neglected and living in filth.

After retirement, the dogs were taken in by a rescue organization called K-9 Hero Haven, where it seemed the dogs would be well cared for and put up for adoption. But an investigation by the Bureau of Dog Law found horrible conditions: feces and blood in the kennels, water bowls green from lack of cleaning.

“Respected dogs that once sacrificed everything for humankind were now subjected to a life of filth and neglect,” the PSPCA wrote. “What was supposed to be a haven for these heroes ended up being the very opposite.”

“We were seeing dogs that were living in their own waste, that had significant medical conditions,” Director of Animal Law Enforcement and Shelter Services Nicole Wilson told CBS News. “For dogs that serviced us so well, the least we can do is provide them with the service of clean housing and medical care.”

Anne Gibbs, the operator of K-9 Hero Haven, was charged with 41 counts of neglect of animals last year; she was ordered to pay $24,000 in restitution and has been barred from operating a kennel for 10 years, according to WNEP.

Meanwhile, the PSPCA took the dogs in, working hard to “heal the physical and internal wounds these dogs’ carried.” Many of the dogs have made significant improvements to their health since the rescue.

As an example, Wilson spoke of one dog named Rex: “He was really a shadow of himself when he first came to us, and now we are so excited to see how he has progressed,” she told CBS News.

“These dogs performed a service for us to keep the public safe, to keep our soldiers safe, and so our goal is to provide them with the retirement that they earned.”

Many of the dogs have found new homes, some by former handlers. But 10 are still up for adoption at the Pennsylvania SPCA’s Philadelphia headquarters.

Hopefully, these dogs find homes soon and get the happy retirement they so deserve.

It’s truly heartbreaking that dogs who spent their lives serving their country would be treated in such a disgraceful manner, but we’re glad they are in good hands and hope they all find great forever homes soon!

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