Here’s the financial kicker, though: police dogs do their job for an effective salary of zero dollars. Taxpayers must front the burden of purchasing a trained dog (not cheap) and caring for him, but compared to a human cop it’s pretty inexpensive labor, no pension plan, even.
But their job is still tough. An organization that tries to track officer deaths figures 13 dogs have died in the line of duty nationwide so far this year. The most common cause of death cited is gunfire. So if you must, think of a vest as protection of an investment.
We encourage the public to give a little to Piccolino’s campaign and help protect the animals that happily help our officers and communities. And we also urge that municipalities and state and federal government consider ways to fund ballistic protection for all police canines.