By Nick Ducote and Mary Grace Eppes
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - A retired Jackson police K-9, who was supposed to be living out his life in the care of an officer, was recently found dumped at a local animal shelter. Don’t worry; Ringo is getting a happy ending after being adopted and reunited with his trainer.
Ringo isn’t just your average Labrador Retriever; he’s also a retired Jackson police officer. A 9-year veteran on the police force, Ringo was trained in Jackson by Randy Hare at the Alpha Canine Training Center.
He was recently thought to be living in retirement with his handler, but as Hare soon discovered, that was not the case.
Ringo was found at a local animal shelter in Madison, Webster Animal Shelter, and adopted by Hare after being abandoned by his handler.
“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 said. "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.”
That’s when Hare went up to the shelter and brought Ringo home with him.
JPD said once they were made aware of the situation, they reassigned Ringo’s former handler to patrol duty. The Jackson Police Department released a statement saying they hold their K-9s with high regard, just as they do any other officer within the department.
“They are family, and we do not feel they deserve anything less than a loving home in retirement,” said JPD Sgt. Roderick Holmes.
However, that statement isn’t making Hare too excited to train police dogs for the department in the future.
“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. I actually hope that they do better than they have in the past, but all I have to go on is the past. So for me, no," he said.
When JPD found out about the issue, they implemented quarterly welfare checks for their K-9s, both active and retired. Additionally, policy is currently being drafted that will address specific requirements related to retired K-9s and their welfare so that they are provided with the best care possible.
Hare said he’s thankful for people calling and checking in with him about adopting Ringo, but said the retired officer is very happy with his new home where he’ll stay and enjoy his life of retirement.
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