Many British workers are now forced to pay into a workplace pension via auto-enrolment. There's no pension worry for working UK dogs - if they work for the Nottingham Police Force.

Every ex crime-fighting canine will be entitled to £500 a year for three years to cover vet bills from work-related injuries.

A dog's life

A lifetime of drug, gun and bomb sweeps and living life on the criminal front line is tough, life-threatening, work. The move by Notts Police means almost 10 working dogs will be entitled to the financial support up to March 2016.

Certainly a better outcome for the Notts animals than working for the Ministry of Defence. It was revealed earlier this year that almost 300 MOD working dogs - including animals who had put in service in Afghanistan - were put down between January 2010 and June this year.

Some police animals go on to live with their owners or handlers after retirement - but vet bills can be huge, especially if the dogs have been badly injured or had complications from existing operations. Currently no insurance company gives cover for a retired police dog.

Respect

"Many of the force's dogs are fit and healthy when they retire," Notts Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping told the Nottingham Post "but some need medical treatment for injury or illness resulting from being worked hard while tackling crime."

"These dogs give willing and sterling service over the years in protecting the public so I am delighted to approve a scheme that will ensure continuing medical help once their work is done."

There's £20,000 put aside for the Notts Force dogs, cash taken from underspend in previous years. One charity, Fireside K9, set up in August, was specifically set up to support retired police dogs from the West Yorkshire region.

Patron Kay Burley has expressed her concern about the lack of support for retired working animals: "I'm a lifelong animal lover and have always had a huge respect for the work they do to keep us safe. I cannot believe there is no funding when they finish their working lives. I'm determined to help right that wrong."