Well, the saying 'You learn something new every day' is ringing true with this powerful, tear-jerking video from TikTok user @gapolicek9foundation. Did anyone else know that it's a tradition for police dogs to receive a proper send-off for their retirement, or are we just really late to the party? Better late than never, though! And now that we know, we want to watch every single K9 retirement!
A police dog named Rio was in the car, ready for another day on the job. Little did he know that it was about to be his last day. A much-earned retirement was in his future! In the clip, Rio's handler called over to dispatch who then gave this good boy the proper send-off. Over 10.9 million people have watched this clip in one day. And we're all congratulating him on an amazing career! Warning: you'll need tissues for this one.
We're sobbing! Rio earned every single bit of that proper goodbye after his 8 years of service. 8 years!! That's just absolutely incredible. Not only did he deserve that send-off, but he also deserves all of the treats, pup cups, and backyard playing he's about to get during his retirement.
"Tell me why I am crying to a dog's retirement," said @Courtney Marie Crook. Because it's so special and sweet! We're so happy we know about this tradition now. "I love this tradition so much. And the fact that the K9s get them too makes me love it even more," wrote @Tyler✌🏻.
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TikTok users are applauding Rio for all of his hard work and service. But a 'thank you' still doesn't seem like enough for all that he's done! He's worked longer than we ever have, lol! "Thank you Rio, enjoy your well-earned retirement and the extra treats you more than deserve 💙," commented a user named Billie. Even the official TikTok account for Chewy said, "Thank you for your service, Rio 😭." His hard work is not going unnoticed!
Since the clip was posted, the creator has been receiving hundreds of questions, including, does the handler keep the dog after retirement, and does the department pay for the dog's retirement? More often than not, the handler does keep the dog, but if he or she can't, the dog can be adopted. (This handler is keeping Rio!)
The creator also said that typically agencies do not have K9 retirement funds in the budget, and that's where foundations like Georgia Police K9 Foundation step in. These foundations assist K9s in their retirement. The hope is that agencies in the future will make the transition to providing retirement budgets for their incredible service dogs.