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Lincoln Police K9 handlers to adopt retiring police service dogs

Published: Jan. 1, 2021 at 4:54 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - After careers full of searching for drugs, suspects and evidence two Lincoln Police service dogs are retiring, and going home with their handlers.

“He’ll just get to relax, he’ll get free roam of the backyard,” Officer Matt Pulec, handler for Mikey said. “My wife thinks she’s converting him into a house pet.”

Mikey is one of the retiring dogs. Pulec said while Mikey is still healthy, he’s almost 11, and getting to an age where most K9′s retire.

Police K9 Mikey is retiring and will spend his time napping at his handler's home instead of...
Police K9 Mikey is retiring and will spend his time napping at his handler's home instead of helping track down drugs, suspects and evidence for the department.(Matt Pulec)

Yuri, is the second dog to retire. His handler, Officer Chris Howard said Yuri has a shoulder injury and after two years of managing his condition, he’s starting to slow down.

“I wanted to retire him to allow him time outside of police work,” Howard said.

Both Howard and Pulec will pay the city $1 to adopt the dogs.

“The bond is stronger than any pet I’ve ever had,” Pulec said. “You know they have your back if something ever goes bad. Knowing he’s like your human partner he’s got your back, its hard not to develop a strong bond.”

Howard said he had never even considered not adopting Yuri.

“I’ve worked with him for seven years, he comes home with me, he goes to work with me he’s just been around,” Howard said.

Lincoln Police K9 handler Officer Chris Howard will adopt K9 Yuri after seven years of working...
Lincoln Police K9 handler Officer Chris Howard will adopt K9 Yuri after seven years of working as his partner.(Chris Howard)

Both officers will continue being service dog handlers. Pulec is now the handler for K9 Koby, the city’s first explosive detection dog. Howard’s new K9 is Jet.

The officers said it will take a while for the dogs to be at the same standards as Mikey and Yuri, who were very successful service dogs.

“I think Mikey located over 60 people,” Pulec said.

“There wasn’t anything I couldn’t train him to do,” Howard said. “If I could show him he could be successful at a task he would perform it at 100%.”

So now, they deserve a relaxing retirement at home with their partners.

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