AUSTIN, Texas - A change made to the Texas State Constitution ensures law enforcement animals such as dogs and horses, can be transferred to the animal’s handler.
It’s called proposition 10, and it passed with overwhelming support. But, before it passed -- some law enforcement officers were forced to auction off, or even euthanize their K-9 partners. FOX 7 Austin spoke with SPO Kent Collins, a member of the Austin Police Departments bomb squad, about his relationship with his K-9 partner.
‘[My K-9 partner] Leland keeps me busy. He’s very much a puppy, so he’s full of energy.” said Collins, describing his partner.
Leland, is a two year old lab. He is Collins partner, and one of the units three K-9’s.
“You know, it’s not like your duty belt -- you take it off and on the weekends you put it up and don’t mess with it. The dog, I still walk the dog, play with the dog, train the dog feed the dog. So, we’re together around the clock.” he said.
Collins says the bond between a handler and their K-9 is “strong.” He hopes to adopt Leland when he retires, but understands there are many variables at play -- Leland, technically belongs to the county.
“I do public presentations. I laugh and joke, I tell students I spend more time with the dog, than I do with my family… which is true.”
Collins, says he previously had no trouble, bringing Horrigan, his former K-9 partner home for retirement.
“He’s just enjoying life in my backyard,” Collins smiled.
He says he’s happy to hear Proposition 10 will ensure other dogs, can live their retirement out in style, just like Horrigan.
“It’s pretty important to have that protection in place.”