A (police) dog’s life now includes a better place to rest
Canine officers in several area police departments will rest more easily after hard days of police work thanks to a donation of dog beds designed with them in mind.
In a ceremony Sept. 14 at the Allentown Police Academy, Eric Shannon, president of Big Barker, a maker of dog beds for large breed dogs, presented beds to 10 dogs and their human partners.
“We’re happy to help protect their joints as well as they protect community,” Shannon said in a brief interview prior to the ceremony.
Salisbury Township Police Department Officer Jason Laky and his canine partner Rocket received one of the donated beds.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Laky said, while holding the donated bed in one hand and the lead for an enthusiastic Rocket in the other.
Rocket, a two-year old Belgian Malinois, joined the department earlier this year, replacing Fonzie, who retired. Fonzie joined the department in 2010, replacing Zeus. Zeus, the first canine officer to join the department, retired from active duty in 2010 and lived with Laky and his family until his death in 2013. Fonzie and Rocket live with Laky.
Police dogs, Shannon explained, often are large breed dogs and large dogs are prone to problems with their joints, partly due to resting on dog beds offering little support for their joints and pressure points. Police dogs also are working dogs required to do tasks outside the experience of average pets such as chasing suspects, riding in patrol cars for long hours, searching for dangerous materials and drugs in addition to other law enforcement duties.
The donated beds feature a several inch thick support layer sandwiched between comfort layers of foam to keep joints elevated, Shannon said, describing the beds as equivalent in quality to high-end human furniture.
Past donations by the company have been to police departments in New Jersey and in Montgomery County, Shannon said.