Texans Vote To Allow Cops To Adopt Police Dogs, Horses
Proposition 10 permits police officers to continue caring for their partners in crime after the animals are retired.
On Tuesday November 5th, Texas voters reportedly approved Proposition 10, a measure that enables police officers to adopt law enforcement dogs and horses after the animals retire. Previous law dictated the animals had to be auctioned, donated, or destroyed. Prop 10 reportedly passed by 94 percent.
Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner reportedly campaigned for the measure. Skinner was an Air Force dog handler who extended his tour of duty several times to remain in the Philippines with his K-9 partner, Jessie.
As originally reported by the Austin American-Statesman, Skinner said, “They didn’t allow retirements, and they didn’t allow us to bring them back to the States.”
That policy changed in 2000, when Congress passed “Robby’s Law,” which established an adoption program for dogs at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, where all military K-9s undergo training. Prop 10 reportedly extends the spirit of Robby’s Law to police officers.
“It’s the right thing to do," Skinner told the Austin American-Statesman. "I see these young men and women that handle these dogs and how hard they work. You just can’t imagine a situation where you’d have to take that dog from them.”
The new law ensures police animal adoptions are officially recognized. In the past, Skinner reportedly said, law enforcement officers would work around regulations by selling old and infirm dogs and horses to familiar parties for $1.
"But here’s the reality,” Skinner told The Washington Post, “we’re peace officers, and we stand for the rule of law, and we want to do the right thing. We’ve asked for this exception, to not treat these animals like property, for all the obvious reasons.”