CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Texas police officers can now adopt their retired k-9 companions. Texas voters approved the amendment just days ago.
They risk their lives to serve and protect our communities, now K-9's are getting a more suitable retirement plan than they had before.
“They're not only your partner, they're your best friend, they're a family member,” said Senior Officer Josephine Ressler, K-9 handler.
Before the passing of Prop 10, a retiring police dog or working animal was classified as salvage or property and could be auctioned, donated to a civic or charitable organization, or destroyed.
Now, a law enforcement animal, like a dog or a horse, can be given to their handler or another qualified caretaker as long as it is in the animal's best interest.
“It benefits them greatly and we're not just uprooting a K9 from where they've been living for the past 8 to 10 years,” said Ressler.
Before the new proposition even passed Ressler says CCPD K-9's would always retire with their former handlers.
“We have had no issues with them uprooting our K-9’s OR taking them away from us after they've lived with us for so long, so we're very blessed we've always had that,” said Ressler.
Just this year, CCPD retired a K9 officer to its' original handler. Senior officer Jason Lavastida served Corpus Christi for 20 years, seven of those years he served with K9 Indy.
Indy retired in January and the following month so did officer Lavastida.