A Police Officer Just Got Demoted for Dumping a Retired K-9 Officer at an Animal Shelter

You never know how complex a dog’s past is, no matter how plaintively they look into your eyes. When you’re at the shelter, passing row after row of canine faces, each one of those dogs has a past that they can’t communicate to you.

Some have been scraping together a bit of food while wandering on the streets. Others knew love for a brief time until they outgrew their puppy cuteness and settled into relationships with their owners who didn’t have the patience or interest to carry on.

Some have stories you wouldn’t believe, like the tale attached to this innocent-looking yellow lab named Ringo. When Randy Hare saw the dog’s photo on a shelter’s website, he recognized the pup immediately and was both sad and livid.

Ringo is no average house dog. Hare had trained him to be a narcotics dog, and Ringo had been a K-9 officer with the Jackson Police Department for around nine years, which is a big chunk of a dog’s life.

After nine years of dutiful work, you’d think he’d be more valued by his handler — and many times, the intense bond between dog and handler is a sight to behold. But after being given retirement in November, Ringo soon found himself at the pound, homeless after a career of service.

When Hare discovered his old trainee has been offloaded, he quickly solved the problem by adopting the dog himself. Hare says that this kind of treatment for former K-9s is not unusual.

“The treatment of dogs who are involved in law-enforcement is sometimes really really good and sometimes it’s not so good,” he told WAPT. “A lot of times they’re treated like equipment and when they’re treated like equipment, sometimes they’re disposed of like equipment.”

Posted by Randy Hare on Friday, November 9, 2018

“Regardless of how it happened or why it happened, it happened,” he said, along with mentioning that his trust with the police department is in jeopardy. He hopes that they do better to ensure the safety and comfort of their canine officers, but he has his doubts.

Hare himself has been training dogs since the ’70s. “I went through a period early on when I thought I knew everything,” he wrote on his website. “I really grew as a trainer and a person when I faced the fact that you never stop learning and you never know it all.”

“I believe the dogs that I have trained have probably taught me more than I have taught them.”

JPD Detective Carl Ellis, Ringo’s handler for all those years, has since been demoted and has been reassigned.

The JPD has also announced plans to start sending out “welfare checks” for their dogs, both retired and current to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

In a statement, the department stated that it “respects and holds our canines with high regard just as we do any other officer within our department. They are family, and we do not feel they deserve anything less than a loving home in retirement.”

Fortunately for Ringo, his trainer has a huge heart and will provide for him for the rest of his days.

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