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KERNERSVILLE, N.C. — K-9 police officers are responsible for everything from narcotics searches to apprehending criminals during their careers.

But once they retire, their police handlers usually take the dogs home as pets, which means they are financially responsible for their medical costs.

That’s why the Kernersville Police Department is trying something new to take care of retired K-9 officers.

“What we want to ensure is that — after these dogs have given so much to the police department and the community — the officer isn’t faced with the decision at the end of the dog’s life, that he has to put him down, because he simply cannot afford what the treatment will cost,” said Officer Clint Queen, with the Kernersville Police Department.

To help handlers with K-9 medical costs, the department is holding a Paws and Pints fundraiser on Saturday, April 18 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Dog-Gone Fun in Kernersville.

All proceeds will benefit the Kernersville Police Dog Retirement Fund.