"He's given his all serving his country, now we want to give him the retirement he deserves"

After an interesting life in service of his country, ex RAF Halton service dog Tacko is now looking to enjoy a wonderful long retirement.

He served with the RAF until he was eight years old, first at RAF Brize Norton, then in his latter years at RAF Halton.

Tacko worked with the RAF police as a general purpose patrol dog, and is much loved by all he encountered.

Because of his gentle temperament, he would go on community outreach programmes because of how well he got in with children and young adults.

Tacko was retired in May 2020, and now lives with Stuart and Wendy (SECOND NAME)

However he has been beset by health problems since he called it a day last year, and pet insurance companies do not offer insurance to ex-service dogs.

His family are now trying to raise funds so they can pay for his veterinary bills

He now lives with Stuart and Wendy Buckland.

Stuart first heard about Tacko when he was running the Air Cadet Squadron at RAF Halton.

Stuart said: "We adopted Tacko in May 2020, after the dog handlers at RAF Halton told me he was looking for a forever home.

"We already have a black Labrador so after consulting Wendy, we asked if we could take him on.

"We were instantly struck with what a wonderful dog he was.

"He's such a joy to be around, considering his background as a police dog he's really so gentle.

However Tacko has suffered from bad back and nerve problems, and MRI scans to find out the root of the dog's pain costs in the thousands of pounds.

When he was younger, Tacko demonstrated his agility at Crufts back in 2015, however now he's looking forward to a more sedate life in retirement.

The family are now hoping to raise some money to pay off Tacko's veterinary bills and give the ex service dog the retirement he deserves.

Stuart continued: "Unfortunately Tacko is suffering with spinal issues and having spent our savings on treatments for him since he retired we are now trying to raise funds for his next MRI with sedation and the follow up treatment costs which could include surgery.

"He's had a lot of medical interventions - this seemed to work well for a while but then since Christmas his mobility has rapidly deteriorated. The costs add up pretty quickly without insurance and it's a shame because the dog has served its country, but now he can't get insurance.

"He is partially lame and we want to get him on his feet again.

"There’s plenty of life left in this old boy, and we think he deserves the best possible care we can give him. Thank you for any help you can give.

"His life has been dedicated to service, now it’s his time to relax - pain free and healthy enough to resume his slow and gentle walks.

"We want to give him the retirement such a good boy deserves!"

The family has set up a just giving page which you can see by clicking here. It's only been live a week, but they have already raised £1200.

They have been receiving help from Hero Paws, a charity that helps ex-service dogs reassimilate to civilian life.

Stuart said: "The charity has been amazing. They specialise in helping ex military working dogs.

"Like everyone else, personal finances during the pandemic haven't been what they have normally been, so their help has been absolutely priceless."

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