Philadelphia: A Doggone Shame

A Doggone Shame

In their glory days, they patrolled Philadelphia's mean streets, searched buildings and sniffed for bombs and narcotics. When they retired, the hounds of the Philadelphia police department's canine unit traditionally got pensions in the form of free dog food and veterinary care. But on March 1, Police Commissioner Willie Williams eliminated the benefits of 45 wet-nosed retirees to shave $13,500 from the department's $262 million budget. "When you are looking at cutting services to the homeless," said police spokesman Captain Richard De Lise, "how can you justify feeding dogs?"

Williams' move touched off a howl of protest. The Fraternal Order of...

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