A police agency in Mississippi announced it would be demoting an officer after he ditched his former canine partner at an area animal shelter.
According to the Huffington Post, Carl Ellis took ownership of Ringo after the K-9 officer retired earlier this year.
Apparently reconsidering the arrangement, however, he reportedly turned the dog over to an animal shelter in Madison. When Ringo appeared on a website announcing he was up for adoption, one of his trainers happened to notice.
Randy Hare told WAPT that he was appalled to see the dog end up in a shelter, lamenting the fact that four-legged officers are too often seen as expendable “equipment” by law enforcement.
“You get into this business because you appreciate dogs and what they’re able to do,” he said of his involvement in training police dogs.
Jackson police reported Ellis was demoted after they learned of the situation, WAPT reported.
Hare has since adopted his former student, who worked with the Jackson Police Department as a drug-sniffing dog for a decade.
The agency posted a statement in response to the developing story, affirming that it “respects and holds our canines with high regard just as we do any other officer within our department.”
In addition to the action against the officer involved, police say they also introduced new standards related to the care of active-duty and retired K-9 officers.
“They are family, and we do not feel they deserve anything less than a loving home in retirement,” the agency wrote.
[Featured image: video screenshot]