The 100 Club is now providing funds to replace all service animals killed or critically injured in the line-of-duty.
The decision comes after Houston Police K9 "Rony" was put down in February after being severely injured while chasing a suspect. “Rony” is the most recent recipient of the American Kennel Club’s Paw of Courage award.
"You're never going to replace that dog, but we can at least help them purchase a new one and get a new team member on their department," says William Skeen, the club's executive director.
That goes for all departments within the 100 Club's coverage area.
"We're also including arson dogs and rescue dogs that may be deployed by a fire department in a mass casualty or natural disaster, we're going to cover those dogs as well," says Skeen.
Aside from the $8,000 to $20,000 cost for a trained K9 unit, Skeen says there's also an emotional attachment between the dog and its handler and family.
"They're a partner to that officer," he says. "They work with them every day, they live with those dogs."
Photo courtesy of Houston Police Department