Capitol Alert

In California, even some dogs might get state pensions

Officer Julie Jensen, right, stands with Edy, a 15-month-old Belgian Malinois, and officer David Foote, left, holds Teno, a German Shepherd during their graduation ceremony at the California Highway Patrol academy in 2015. The Assembly’s proposed budget provides retired CHP police dogs with a $2,000 retirement plan.
Officer Julie Jensen, right, stands with Edy, a 15-month-old Belgian Malinois, and officer David Foote, left, holds Teno, a German Shepherd during their graduation ceremony at the California Highway Patrol academy in 2015. The Assembly’s proposed budget provides retired CHP police dogs with a $2,000 retirement plan. rpench@sacbee.com

All dogs may go to heaven, but in California some police dogs could get government retirement checks.

The Assembly’s proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 includes $100,000 to provide retired California Highway Patrol police dogs with a $2,000 retirement plan to help pay for medical costs.

The proposal is one of many items on the to-do list of the Legislature’s budget-writing committee, which has begun to reconcile differences between Senate and Assembly spending plans as well as taking into account the desires of the Brown administration. The Senate’s plan lacks the dog retirement money, as does Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget.

According to an analysis by the Assembly’s resources budget subcommittee, CHP officers frequently adopt their canine partners, who “often settle into peaceful lives as pets.”

Yet the hard years of being a police dog means “they typically develop health conditions that require extensive care that can be costly,” according to the panel.

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