K9 Rio has retired. After eight years of serving the local police force, Rio is calling it quits. To be more accurate, it is Rio’s human handlers who have decided now is the time for Rio to start living the good life. Rio’s retirement celebration tugged at the heartstrings of local police officers and others. The video was recently posted to the police department’s Instagram account.
The K9 Retirement That Won’t be Forgotten
K9 Rio’s retirement is receiving an influx of attention on social media. The video displays a police officer displaying the department’s gratitude for the dog following nearly a full decade of service. The ceremony also touched on how members of the local force are grateful for the dog’s willingness to protect his handlers while out in the field.
Click through the comments posted to the video and you will find there is an outpouring of support for K9 Rio. The video, posted to Instagram, is credited to the Georgia Police K9 Foundation. A second video posted to the account reveals Rio eating ice cream.
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The Views Keep Piling up for Rio’s Retirement
As of last count, the retirement video posted to the Georgia Police K9 Foundation Instagram page generated an astonishing 15 million views. Kyle Briley, the founder of the foundation and also the handler of Rio during his career on the force, recently noted how social media has served as a bridge that connects his organization to the masses.
Briley went on to comment about how he got to know Rio so well that the two got into the habit of anticipating one another’s actions and responses. Briley noted the inspiration for his nonprofit organization came from observing police dogs retire from the force without adequate support after 5-10 or even more years of service.
Rio is Redefining Perceptions of Police Dogs
When it comes to police dogs, there is a general misconception that K9s are aggressive, borderline violent, angry and have a poor temperament. Though some K9s have displayed aggressive tendencies, they are the exception to the norm. The purpose of police having a K9 dog is not to scare or intimidate suspects. Rather, K9s do work that human police officers cannot do.
As an example, K9 dogs like Rio worked alongside police officers to sniff out drugs and perform other important duties. All in all, Rio was deployed more than 3,000 in his career that spanned eight years on the force. It is also interesting to note that Rio’s service resulted in more than 830 arrests. Add in the fact that Rio has provided in excess of 100 K9 demonstrations and interacted with thousands of members of the local community and there is even more reason to celebrate the dog’s impact on the lives of others.
Rio is just one of several thousand K9s that serve the state of Georgia. K9s require highly specialized and extensive training across several years so they can function in the field. Though few know it, the cost of raising a K9 for duty has the potential to eclipse the $10,000 mark, making public servants such as Briley all the more valuable and important.
Rio is now Cleared for Retirement
Briley gave K9 Rio one final send off at the end of the dog’s retirement celebration. Briley ended the ceremony noting that K9 Rio is now 10-42 and cleared for retirement. In the context of police communications, 10-42 is an indication that an officer has reached the end of his or her duty. The dog was provided with an official retirement plaque from the police department and will undoubtedly be celebrated for years to come on Instagram and other popular social media channels.