Texas police officers can now adopt their retired K-9 companions rather than have them sold or 'destroyed'

Police dogs.
(Image credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images)

They risked their lives to serve and protect, but under previous Texas state law, they were treated as property.

Now, police dogs are getting the justice they deserve.

During Tuesday's election, Texas voters approved an amendment that allows retiring law enforcement dogs and horses to be adopted by their handler or another "qualified caretaker."

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Previously, the retired animals were treated by the law the same way as an old police car or gun would be — auctioned, donated, or destroyed, reports The Washington Post.

Some departments found ways to work around the law, by selling animals to handlers for $1, but others were forced to put down their retired animals, Collin County, Texas, Sheriff Jim Skinner told the Post.

"We've asked for this exception, to not treat these animals like property, for all the obvious reasons," he said.

Skinner was an Air Force K-9 handler in the Philippines almost 40 years ago, and extended his tour just so he could stay with his dog, Jessie, reports the Post, an example of how strong the bond between handlers and their dogs can be.

The military now has laws that give handlers the option to adopt their animals, and Texas has finally caught up, allowing man and best friend to stay together. Read more at The Washington Post.

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