Buster, an 8-year-old German Shepherd, spent his life as a police dog, working as a patrol and narcotics K-9 officer on Rikers Island, according to the Daily News. Typically, when police dogs retire, they do so with their handlers — the dogs and handers have bonded, and neither wants to give up the relationship — and that indeed happened here. Buster went home with his handler.
And then his handler, who you remember is a police officer, was going through some “personal problems,” according to the Daily News, and dumped Buster at a shelter: the Animal Care Center of NYC in Brooklyn. It’s a kill shelter. This police dog, who served his city since he was 18 months old, was in danger of being killed because of a mystifyingly boneheaded decision by someone who couldn’t even take five minutes to figure out whom to call for help placing his dog — like his work, for one. Or the people who train the police dogs for his department. Or anyone who trains police dogs, for that matter.
Finding a home for a police dog who served his whole life is not a tall order, of course, assuming the dog is healthy mentally and physically, and there is no indication Buster is not. A kill shelter is the last place he belongs — and, indeed, once this story got out, help was quickly on the way. Butster was quickly sprung from the shelter by Four Paws Sake NYC Animal Rescue and now has his forever home with “a handler for retired K9s,” according to a statement from the organization. Here is the message in full:
An update on Buster. Just want to thank everyone for reaching out. Buster has permanent placement with a handler for retired K9s.
We did nothing out of the ordinary as a rescue group. We brought a dog to safety where he will live out the remainder of his life happy, with experienced hands, in the right home.
I encourage everyone who is reaching out that wanted to adopt him, that they go to AC&C and adopt another German Shepherd in need or look for a GSD in your area and adopt! They all have a story …
Buster’s story is still unconfirmed as to what agency he may have worked for in what state. But the mere fact that his bio was very descriptive raised a flag that he needs the right placement. That was and is our only attention.
Four Paws Sake has a network of folks who work in law enforcement, search and rescue, godiva dogs, therapy dogs, and service dogs. Buster is in great hands.
Please go down to ACC and adopt a dog or cat.
We are blessed to be able to help all animals.
Aside from this crazy detour into a kill shelter, Buster seems to now have the retirement he deserves.
Read about more boneheads on Dogster: