“Born to Love. Trained to Serve. Loyal to the End. Best Friends to Our Nation’s Finest. We Served Our Master, Who Served Mankind. Faithful to the End. An Officer’s Extra Senses to Guide and Protect. Our Eyes in the Dark. A Nose for Danger. A Partner Faithful Beyond Words” – The Canine (K-9) Memorial at the American Police Hall of Fame & Museum
The Georgia K9 Retirement Foundation, a non-profit organization that is recently established in Bulloch County, is the only foundation of its kind in Georgia.
The foundation’s focus is to provide K9 officers with needed and sometimes costly medical assistance for the first two years after retirement. There are requirements for eligibility for handlers or adopters seeking support from the foundation. The handler or adopter must apply to the foundation, providing information such as a letter from the agency stating that the K9 retired in good standing, details of breed/age/name/years of service, records of ongoing veterinary care during and after service, and be able to show that treatment is required for issues directly related to the K9’s service. Upon approval, the handler or adopter can be eligible for reimbursement up to $1,000 per year for two years. Although the K9s are retired from law enforcement, the foundation is not affiliated with any law enforcement agency.
The foundation was founded by Kyle Briley and co-founded by Kirk McGlamery, both are K9 handlers at their respective agencies. Briley said the idea of the foundation came to him because of his concerns for retired Statesboro K9 Officer Bruno, who requires medical care for hip displasia, a disease of the hip in which the ball and socket joint is malformed. He is also concerned for his current partner’s future, K9 Officer Rio.
According to Briley: Most agencies and cities/counties provide the K9s with everything that is needed during their working career. It’s not uncommon for the agency to not continue to pay for medical costs after the retirement and the responsibilities fall on the handler or adopter. This foundation was created to help assist in that area. We are often met with a great support base and are asked by others what they can do to help. This is a foundation that they can support that will truly benefit the dogs even after their working careers are over. There are stories across the nation about working K9s not being able to have proper medical care during retirement due to the costs being expensive for procedures that were work related.
Once he began the process of developing the foundation, Briley reached out to Nick Propps, and a board was formed. The current board members are as follows: President Nick Propps, VP Lovett Bennet, treasurer/secretary Dennis Johnson, Chaddrick Parrish, and Justin Samples. Each law enforcement agency in Bulloch County has allowed a K9 handler to be a liaison to the board. The four liaisons are Kyle Briley, Kirk McGlamery, Erk McCurdy, and Mark Guarino.
When asked what led to his decision to join the foundation, Propps said, “I got involved with the Foundation to ensure that retired K9s that had faithfully served the community would be taken care of after their active service came to an end and I didn’t want to see individual officers burdened with having to pay for their care, which is often a result of their police service.”
Gateway Animal Hospital and Best Friends Animal Hospital have generously offered discounts for treatment of the eligible retired K9s supported by the Georgia K9 Retirement Foundation.
As of now, the foundation is only serving the Bulloch County area but members hope it will soon grow and eventually be statewide.
The foundation is in the process of building a fund through donations. There are six membership levels for individuals or businesses that wish to donate. Any amount is helpful.
Visit the Georgia K9 Retirement Foundation’s Facebook page here for more information or to donate. Donations can also be made by mailing a check made out to Georgia K9 Retirement Foundation to 28 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia. Any support whether monetary, vocal, or liking/sharing the Facebook page is appreciated and valuable to the foundation.
Vehicle window decals and t-shirts will be available in the near future.
Guardians Of The Night
Trust in me my friend for I am
your comrade. I will protect you
with my last breath When all
others have left you And the
loneliness of the night closes
in, I will be at your side.
Together we will conquer all
obstacles, And search out
those who might wish harm to
others. All I ask of you is
compassion, The caring touch
of your hands. It is for you that I
will unselfishly give my life And
spend my nights unrested.
Although our days together
May be marked by the passing
of the seasons Know that each
day at your side is my reward.
My days are measured by The
coming and going of your
footsteps. I anticipate them at
every opening of the door. You
are the voice of caring when I
am ill. The voice of authority
when I’ve done wrong.
Do not chastise me unduly For
I am your right arm, The sword
at your side. I attempt to do
only what you bid of me. I seek
only to please you and remain
in your favor.
Together you and I shall
experience A bond only others
like us will understand When
outsiders see us together Their
envy will be measured by their
I will quietly listen to you And
pass no judgment, Nor will your
spoken words be repeated I will
remain ever silent, Ever vigilant,
ever loyal. And when our time
together is done And you move
on in the world Remember me
with kind thoughts and tales,
For a time we were unbeatable,
Nothing passed among us
If we should meet again on
another street I will gladly take
up your fight, I am a Police
Working Dog and together We
are guardians of the night.
Author – Unknown