MADISON, Miss. – A Jackson, Mississippi, police K9 handler, who worked as a detective, has been reassigned after surrendering his retired service dog to an animal shelter.

WLKY referred to the job transfer as a “demotion.”

K9 Ringo

Jackson police retired K9 Ringo from the department in November. The police service dog worked as a narcotics detecting canine for nearly a decade.

Randy Hare, with the Alpha Canine Training center, originally trained Ringo, reported WLKY. As a result, Hare adopted his old buddy when he discovered Ringo was being housed at the Madison animal shelter.

Hare says the officers are expected to take care of the dog once they are retired from the department. Unfortunately, Hare says what happened to Ringo isn’t that uncommon.

“The treatment of dogs who are involved in law enforcement is sometimes really really good and sometimes it’s not so good. A lot of times they’re treated like equipment, and when they’re treated like equipment, sometimes they’re disposed of like equipment,” Hare said.


K9 Ringo was taken to the local animal shelter after retiring as a narcotics detecting canine. (Screenshot WLKY broadcast)

Detective/Handler Reassigned

Ross Adams, reporting for WLKY, says JPD Detective Carl Ellis has been demoted and reassigned to patrol duty as a result of the actions. He said Ringo spent his career with Ellis working narcotics cases.

Hare said, “You get into this business because you appreciate dogs, and what they’re able to do.” He was shocked when he learned that Ellis had given Ringo to an animal shelter. He recognized Ringo on the Shelter’s website.

“Regardless of how it happened or why it happened, it happened,” Hare said. It should not occur this way. The dog should retire with the handler, he concluded.

Hence, Hare quickly adopted Ringo from the shelter.


Canine trainer Randy Hare quickly adopted Ringo once he learned the retired police service dog was housed at the animal shelter. (Screenshot WLKY broadcast)

Adams reported that WLKY reached out to the JPD to get a statement from Ellis. However, the chief would need to approve the interview, and he is out of town, according to the agency.