NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A K-9 officer who was abandoned by his handler in Mississippi, is now living out his retirement in Nashville.
Ringo came to Randy Hare's training facility in Mississippi after he was rescued from a shelter in Georgia 12 years ago.
He immediately showed promise as a drug detection dog, and went to work for the Jackson Police Department in Mississippi for nearly a decade.
Weeks after Ringo retired in 2018, his handler dropped his K-9 partner off at a shelter in Madison, Mississippi.
"I was ticked," Hare said, "I was highly upset with him over pulling something like that, it just didn’t make sense to me."
Hare heard about what happened, and went to the shelter, where he adopted the yellow lab.
"Sure enough, it was Ringo there at the shelter, and my heart sank," Hare said, "With the way he actually started—being close to death, and the way he was kind of abandoned in this, we’re not going to let that happen again."
Together, they just opened Alpha K-9 Training Center in Nashville. At the new facility, Ringo has his own room. "We designated that as Ringo’s little castle and we put a television in there," Hare said. "He likes to watch Top Dog."
While his days sniffing out drugs are over, Ringo is living his best life. When he isn't playing with his toy, he supervises training sessions from the window. "He’s going to live out his days like he should," Hare said.
What happened was so hard on Hare that he has cut back on training police dogs. He now primarily works with pups and owners on obedience training.
Hare said since the ordeal, he has had a conversation with the man who surrendered Ringo. He said he did it because the dog had cancer. Ringo had surgery, and he's doing much better. If you are a K-9 handler who is struggling to pay for your retired dog, there are several national resources that can help like the Retired Police Canine Foundation.