An officer with the Jackson (MI) Police Department has been reprimanded and demoted after he reportedly surrendered his former K-9 partner to a local animal shelter.

The department issued a statement last week indicating that K-9 Ringo had retired from service in October, and was soon thereafter turned over to the shelter in October.  

According to KREM-TV, the department said that it was unaware of this fact until very recently, saying that the agency believed that Ringo was living with his handler, Officer Carl Ellis.

"The Jackson Police Department respects and holds our canines with high regard just as we do any other officer within our department," the statement reads. "They are family, and we do not feel they deserve anything less than a loving home in retirement."

To prevent any other retired K9s from being surrendered, the statement says, "Policy is currently being drafted that will address specific requirements related to retired canines and their welfare, so that they are provided with the best care possible."

The department said that Officer Ellis has been returned to patrol duty.

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