Retired ATF dog needs costly ACL surgery

Posted at 4:50 PM, May 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-07 15:56:23-04

She's protected everyone from politicians to pageant contestants, but now she needs a little help herself.

Shirley is a retired police canine with an injured leg that requires surgery. 

As a bomb-sniffing dog, Shirley has worked Super Bowls, the Democratic National Convention and countless other events; her job in all was to keep so many people safe.

Now, she's suffering and unlike her fellow first responders, there's no retirement plan for police dogs.

Until recently, retirements been sweet for Shirley. She's seen the world alongside her handler Tracey Breeden. And when it was time to let a younger pup take her place, Shirley stayed on with Tracey.

“She's a part of my family," said Tracey. 

Then one day, Tracey noticed a little limp. A vet diagnosed Shirley with a torn ligament.

Shirley needed thousands of dollars in surgery and unlike human retirees, there's not any funding after the dogs retire.

Jessica Zygmont, of the Blue Line K9 Foundation, knows a thing or two about police dogs.

A Valley park bench is named for Ronin, the police canine who saved his handler's life. That handler was Zygmont's police officer husband.

“These dogs should have retirement just like human police officers,” Zygmont said.

Now both ladies are hoping you can help. They've created a GoFundMe account to cover the cost of Shirley's surgery. So far, they've surpassed their initial goal that will cover Shirley's surgery. The rest of the funds will be donated to BlueLine K9. 

If you would like to help, you can donate here.