Fundraising goal met to help retired CK police dog run again

K9 Officer Arry. Photo courtesy of CKPS.

A retired Chatham-Kent police service dog is on the road to recovery after a successful fundraising campaign to help with his medical bills.

Arry, a 9-year-old Belgian Malinois, spent six years with the force alongside his handler and trainer Constable Rick Bertok.

During his time with the Chatham-Kent Police Service, Arry attended 700 calls, helped with 75 arrests, detected over $128,000 worth of illegal drugs, $11,000 worth of stolen property and recovered four firearms.

Due to the physically demanding nature of being a police service dog, Arry needed two surgeries after he retired in 2019 to help repair damage to his knees.

Charity organization Ned’s Wish recently launched the ‘Help PSD Arry Run Again’ campaign to raise money to go towards supporting the costs of Arry’s surgery.

K9 Officer Arry and his handler Constable Rick Bertok. Photo courtesy of CKPS.

Bertok adopted Arry after his retirement as a family pet and announced that the $4,000 fundraising goal has been met.

“He’s good, he’s almost able to put quite a bit of weight on the surgery leg,” said Bertok. “So, we’re looking good.”

Ned’s Wish describes itself as being dedicated to improving the life of retired police dogs and helping the owners of police dog retirees cover some or all of their pet’s medical bills. Because the work police dogs do is so physically demanding, Ned’s Wish said people who adopt retired police dogs can be left with substantial and costly health issues.

Bertok said the money was donated from all across Canada, adding that Chatham-Kent Real Estate Brokerage Nest Realty Inc. made a special donation of $1,000.

Now that Arry is on the mend and has hung up his police badge, Bertok said he’s still getting used to enjoying life as a regular canine.

“He’s with me, so he knows the routine around the house and stuff,” Bertok explained. “I’d say the first six months to a year, him seeing me getting into the uniform and going to work, he’d look at me with the puppy dog eyes…They don’t really lose it. It’s kind of neat. They don’t really retire in a sense.”