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Veteran K-9 retires after nearly a decade on the job

Updated: Tuesday, August 26 2014, 10:39 PM CDT
ORANGE - by Kara Dixon

Corporal Russell Hall's experience as a dog handler in the army got him a job as a dog handler for the Vidor Police Department and eventually the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Hall's partner for nine years, Shadow, retired from his duties on July 31.

"He was just over a year when I brought him home and I've had him ever since," Hall said.

Eleven-year-old Shadow became a beloved employee at the station during his time.

"It's kind of bittersweet,but you're glad for the dog because they get to the point where they can't do the job anymore," said Sheriff Keith Merritt.

Hall says last year he started to notice Shadow having difficulty getting in and out of his truck. The sheriff's office decided to retire the dog before its health got any worse.

Now, Shadow is adjusting to retired life.

"He doesn't like when I leave and go to work without him. and he got quite upset when the new dog came in and worked," Hall said.

The new K-9, Striker, lives at home with Hall and his family and Shadow.

"They don't really get along. They ignore each other for the most part," Hall said.

Hall said he hopes the feud does not last long, but it is a good sign they are not fighting.

As for the office Shadow spent countless hours in, the employees there won't likely forget him. He'll always be family.

"We've told him, just bring him around every now and then and let us see him," said Merritt. "So, just like today, everyone's excited when they get to see Shadow because he's been a part of this department for nine years."
Veteran K-9 retires after nearly a decade on the job

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