A retired police dog that was dumped off at a Mississippi animal shelter by its former handler has found a new home and the officer who left the dog has been demoted.
As WLBT reports, Ringo, a nine-year veteran with the Jackson Police Department, was recently found at an animal shelter, after the animal was thought to be living with his handler after calling it a career in October.
However, Ringo was recently found at the shelter and adopted by the very man who trained the dog for the police force.
“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,” Randy 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.”
Hare trained the Labrador retriever at the Alpha Canine Training Center before Ringo joined the police force to help track illicit drugs.
Jackson police said in a statement once the force got wind of Ringo’s situation, it demoted his former handler 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,” reads the statement. “They are family, and we do not feel they deserve anything less than a loving home in retirement.”
According to WLBT, the police force is drafting a new policy calling for quarterly welfare checks on retired police dogs and specific requirements of how the former officers are taken care of in retirement.
Hare told the news station that he isn’t exactly thrilled about training future Jackson police dogs.
“All I have to go on as far as Jackson Police Department is what’s happened in the past. I know they have a new administration,” Hare said. “I actually hope that they do better than they have in the past, but all I have to go on is the past.”
The police department faced backlash online after word of Ringo’s surrender was made public.
“A man who dumps his four-legged partner at the shelter after nine years together shouldn’t be trusted by his two-legged partners either!” reads a comment.
“The officer should be terminated, not demoted!! He turned his back on his partner,” reads another.