A 9-year-old police dog named Rex is ready to retire from the force.
That presents a quandary for the Albuquerque, N.M., police department: what to do with a devoted and capable dog whose law enforcement training makes it a challenge to find him a new home?
In announcing Rex’s retirement Monday, the department also outlined a heartbreaking story. The dog’s handler recently retired from the force—and though the two have emotionally bonded, the officer couldn’t take his work partner home because he has a small child.
Rex is currently in the custody of Animal Services, and it’s possible he could be euthanized, in part because he’s deemed to be too old to bond and work with a new handler. After announcing that sad state of affairs Monday, Albuquerque police said they’re now getting offers to take the dog from former K-9 handlers, as well as from animal rescue groups.
“It’s heartbreaking for all of us … especially his handler,” says Celina Espinoza, the Albuquerque Police Department’s communications director. “Both he and Rex have served the city hand in hand for many years.”