San Diego Councilmember Chris Cate wants the city’s police dogs to get the same kind of lifelong healthcare benefits that human police officers get.

“These dogs are faithful public servants, and countless lives have been saved and preserved due to their efforts,” Cate said. “The police dog is an athlete. Like all athletes, over time, the activities take a toll on the body.”

Cate has asked Mayor Todd Gloria to analyze how much it would cost the city to cover lifelong maintenance, veterinary care and other benefits for police dogs, who are typically removed from service after seven years in the field, the Union-Tribune reports.

Families who adopt the dogs after they retire now must cover all medical and other expenses, which Cate says can sometimes be significant.

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