Its A Dogs Life: Army Sets Up Pooch Retirement Fund

Austria’s Ministry of Defence has launched a dog retirement fund for brave canines to receive a small pension to pay for doggie biscuits and vet’s bills.

Defence minister Mario Kunasek created the pooch pension in October last year and the first two army dogs to retire will now benefit from it.

A Rottweiler called Fee and a Belgian Shepherd named Anubis both served in the military in the Austrian state of Styria and will become the first two dogs to officially retire from the army.

Anubis served on patrol duty with the military police in the Styrian capital of Graz, sniffing out illegal substances.

Credit: CEN/Bundesheer-Erdmann Fraidl
Military dog ‘Fee’

He will spend his retirement at his handler’s home where he can enjoy some well-deserved rest.

Fee also worked for 10 years for the army, where she served as a guard dog at a local ammunition storage facility in Hieflau.

She will also live out her final years at her handler’s home.

As part of the pooch pension, dog handlers will receive 200 EUR (176 GBP) a year to compensate for vet’s bills while a state subsidy will cover 50 percent of food costs.

Defence minister Kunasek said: “Sniffer dogs are not only reliable companions for military dog handlers, they also make a significant contribution when it comes to our soldiers’ safety.

“That is why our four-legged friends have more than earned a carefree retirement after many years of service.”

Currently, 126 dog handlers take care of 164 dogs in active military duty in Austria.

The Austrian army even has a special dog training centre in Kaisersteinbruch in the state of Burgenland to prepare puppies for active duty.

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Story By: Koen BerghuisSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency: Central European News

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