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Ned’s Wish

Helping Hounds: Charity Cares for Our Canine Heroes

Founded by retired RCMP officer Stacey Talbot, Ned's Wish has paid over $200,000 for retired hero dogs' medical expenses
Phil Graham and Ned. Phil nicknamed the dog, “Ned the Knucklehead” because he always managed to get himself into interesting predicaments | Ned’s Wish

When police and armed forces officers retire, their pension funds support them, but their loyal canine partners have no such financial safety net.

This gap inspired Stacey Talbot, a retired RCMP officer, to create Ned’s Wish, a charity that offers a lifeline to retired police and military dogs.

Talbot named Ned’s Wish after her first police dog, who was named–you guessed it–Ned. 

As a puppy, Ned was assigned to Cst. Garfield Henderson, to be raised in the imprinting program.

Stationed in Comox, BC, Ned was trained in explosive detection and became the first operational Police Service Dog to work in that profile on Vancouver Island.

During his career, Ned travelled by boat, car, and plane, swam through rapids, endured crashes, and whatever it took to get the job done. Ned successfully tracked down and apprehended countless suspects during his time on the force. 

Along with his handler, Cpl. Phil Graham, Ned even worked the infamous beheading on a  Greyhound Bus incident in Manitoba.

Ned was a star who’d been through the wringer. When he finally retired, he deserved some royal treatment, but unfortunately – all his years on the force had taken their toll.

Ned’s Retirement

Shortly after being adopted into Talbot’s care, Ned faced a series of health challenges.

He needed surgery to remove a leg plate and pins, had a urinary tract infection, and a prostatic abscess. Subsequent diagnoses, skin and stomach issues, required costly exams, specialist appointments, trial diets, and medication.

The vet bills mounted to over $10,000, and the saga didn’t end there.

In the end, Ned faced a medical emergency, and more than $25,000 was spent trying to save him in his final days.

Most of it was covered by insurance, but the total cost of Ned’s care amounted to about $50,000! 

After going through this highly taxing (figuratively and literally) experience, Talbot recognized a critical gap in supporting retired hero dogs. Publicly funded agencies do not provide adequate aftercare for these loyal animal employees.

The Birth of Ned’s Wish

In response, Talbot founded Ned’s Wish in 2019, an organization dedicated to improving retired police and military dogs’ quality of life.

Stacey Talbot at Ned’s Grave | Ned’s Wish

Since then, the charity has operated out of Devon, Alberta, and paid over $200,000 in vet bills for retired heroes.

Now, the organization is expanding to include Parks Canada search and rescue dogs!

Throughout her 38-year RCMP career, Talbot witnessed the remarkable work that Parks Canada service dogs perform. They help find missing children, locate wandering Alzheimer’s patients, and track backcountry skiers or hikers buried in avalanches.

“These dogs are always going out and doing the job. Their drive is so great, even at their own peril,” she told the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Leroy, who is the current search and rescue dog in Banff National Park, will be the first Parks Canada dog to receive funds from Ned’s Wish if he needs help after he retires!

After serving the Canadian public tirelessly, that’s definitely a much-needed treat.

If Ned or Leroy’s stories struck a chord and you’d like to volunteer, donate, or learn more about this incredible local cause, you can find out more here. 

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