Service K9s risk their lives to protect and assist law enforcement. They spend almost every minute of the day with their handlers for years. They share a strong bond. Their service life is generally seven to eight years after which they are retired.
Prior to the 2000 enactment of Robby’s Law, military service dogs were often euthanized after they were retired. Robby’s Law permits retired military dogs to be adopted by their handlers.
On November 5, 2019, Texas passed Proposition 10 which allows retired K9s to be adopted by their handler or another qualified caregiver. Previously, under Texas law retired service animals, such as dogs and horses, were considered surplus government property. They were handled like out-of-commission cars, auctioned or destroyed. It made it hard for a handler to adopt their dogs as they could be out bid at auction.
While many Texas cities already allowed handlers to adopt their K9s when the dog was retired, county K9s were often not so lucky. Retired K9s will now legally be able to remain with the people they love and know best.
Texas voters passed the proposition by 94%, allowing retired service animals to remain in the care of their handlers, in a familiar environment for the duration of their life.