After leaving his retired police dog, Ringo, at a Mississippi animal shelter, the former K-9’s handler has been ‘demoted.’ Ringo, meanwhile, is getting a second chance.
Ringo worked for nine years with the Jackson Police Department on the narcotics team after getting trained up by Randy Hare at the Alpha K-9 training center. He was enjoying the peace of retirement until his owner decided he didn’t want a dog anymore. Now, Hare is adopting Ringo.
But first, he wants to know why.
“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-TV. “You know it’s just, you just don’t turn your back on something like that that’s been with you for nine years. 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.”
According to WRIC, after the JPD learned Ringo had been surrendered to the shelter, they began requiring quarterly welfare checks for active and retired K-9s. And Ringo’s former handler, Detective Carl Ellis, was put on patrol duty.
“The Jackson Police Department respects and holds our canines with high regard just as we do any other officer within our department,” the department wrote in a statement. “They are family, and we do not feel they deserve anything less than a loving home in retirement.”
Hare is glad to have Ringo back in his life, but said he is hesitant to train up any new police dogs.
“All I have to go on as far as Jackson Police Department is what’s happened in the past,” Hare said. “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.”
Learn more in the video below.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.