Las Cruces K-9s Can Be Adopted By Officers

Las Cruces – Gov. Bill Richardson's first official act of 2010 was for the dogs. He pardoned two state Department of Corrections K-9s, retiring the dogs that were used for drug interdiction and fugitive apprehension at the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility.

Friday's decision comes after many people urged Richardson to retire the dogs following recent changes in their handling and care and the likelihood that the animals would be unable to fully adjust. The two German shepherds, ages 4 and 7, now can be adopted by their handlers.

Working K-9s are housed in kennels on state prison grounds and 16 dogs currently do so without any problems. But for the past few years, the two German shepherds were allowed to go home with their handlers while the kennels at the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility were under construction. When the two dogs returned to being kenneled on prison property, they exhibited signs of acute separation anxiety and the call came to retire them.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.