K9 dogs could retire and spend the rest of their lives with their handlers, if proposition is approved

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Voters across Texas could make it easier for retiring law enforcement animals to spend the rest of their lives with their handlers.

Texas Proposition 10, if approved, would allow agencies to transfer a dog, horse, or any law enforcement animal to that animal’s handler, or another qualified person, if it’s in the animal’s best interest.

State code currently treats these animals as salvage or surplus property, so many entities sell the animals to their handler for a low cost.

For example, the Williamson County Commissioners Court considered on Sept. 24 selling a K9 to his handler for just $1 after a veterinarian recommended retirement due to the dog’s health issues. However, the commissioners pulled this item from the consent agenda, and it’s unclear when it might be discussed again.

Jake Wright, who owns K9 Precision Work in Leander, said he supports the approval of Prop 10 because it makes the most sense.

“Working with K9 handlers and seeing the kind of training they go through, them working together and building such a strong bond, who better should these dogs go to than the handlers or people in law enforcement that are familiar with the K9s?” Wright told KXAN. “[The dogs] retiring with them would be great.”

Early voting on all the state propositions begins Monday. The election will be held on Nov. 5.

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