Retired K-9 abandoned at animal shelter adopted by his trainer

A retired police dog who was abandoned at an animal shelter has found a forever home.

WLBT reported that Ringo, a Labrador retriever, retired from the Jackson Police Department in late October. He was supposed to spend the rest of his days in the care of his former police officer handler, but was left at Webster Animal Shelter in Madison, Mississippi, about 10 miles away from the police department.

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In a statement to The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, the Jackson Police Department said officials thought the former drug-sniffing dog was living with his handler, Officer Carl Ellis. The department later learned Ringo had been surrendered and adopted. The timing of the incident isn't clear.

According to WBLT, word got around to Randy Hare, who trained Ringo at Alpha Canine Training Center.

"I don't know that there is a word for being both hurt and mad, but I was both of them and I still am," Hare told WLBT. "You know it's just -- you just don't turn your back on something like that. Next thing we knew, we got a call from an animal shelter in Madison that Ringo was actually being housed there and up for adoption."

Credit: Jackson Police Department

Credit: Jackson Police Department

Hare went to the shelter and adopted him. He said he hopes the recent change in administration will lead to improvements.

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

The Clarion-Ledger reported that, in response to the incident, JPD Chief James Davis has put in place protocol that includes required welfare checks for active duty and retired police dogs.

“Additionally, policy is currently being drafted that will address specific requirements related to retired canines and their welfare, so that they are provided with the best care possible,” Holmes said.

WLBT reported that the officer who abandoned Ringo has been reassigned to patrol duty.

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