The Arlington County Board has formalized a new leash on life for the bond between retiring police dogs and their human partners.
The Board voted 5 to 0 as part of their consent agenda today to direct the Chief of Police to make transfers official under Virginia Code, allowing for a dog’s legal sale at one dollar.
“These dogs work closely with their selected handler from the beginning of their canine careers until their years of service, health or safety makes it impractical for them to continue serving,” said ACPD Spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. “Sending the dogs home with their owners is the safest and most humane way for these dogs to live out their lives.”
The Arlington County Police Department has seven full-time dogs who perform full-time patrol work, including searching out suspects and evidence. It has two part-time dogs that work solely at finding explosives.
The Arlington County Sheriff’s Office is reviewing the new Board action for its own possible use.
Sheriff’s deputies are down to just one K-9 following this month’s retirement of Varius, a 13-year-old narcotics-sniffing black lab who remains with his long-time handler.