Police officer demoted after surrendering retired K-9 to shelter

Police in Mississippi say an officer has been demoted to patrol duty after he dropped his retired K-9 off at a shelter when he was meant to be looking after it.

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Jackson police officer Carl Ellis was the handler for Ringo, a K-9 that retired from the force in October after serving as a drug-sniffing dog, reported the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. Since then, Ringo was "thought to be living with his handler," but Ringo had actually been adopted by someone else after Ellis surrendered him to an animal shelter.

When Jackson police officials learned what had happened, Ellis was "reassigned to patrol duty."

"The Jackson Police Department respects and holds our canines with high regard just as we do any other officer within our department," Jackson police said in a statement. "They are family, and we do not feel they deserve anything less than a loving home in retirement."

The department will now require quarterly welfare checks for all K-9s, active duty or retired, the statement said.

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