Arlington police officers will be able to legally adopt retired K-9s

- The Arlington County Board has formalized a way for retiring police dogs to stay with their human partners.

K-9s have traditionally remained with their handlers after the end of their careers. On Saturday, the Arlington County Board voted unanimously to make the transfers official. Officers will be able to legally purchase a retiring K-9 for 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 Dustin Sternbeck, spokesperson for the Arlington County Police Department. “Sending the dogs home with their owners is the safest and most humane way for these dogs to live out their lives.”

There are currently seven full-time dogs working with Arlington County police, searching out suspects and evidence. Two part-time dogs work solely at finding explosives.

Meanwhile, the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office works with just one K-9 after the retirement of Varius, a 13-year-old narcotics-sniffing black lab who remains with his handler.

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