SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Texans love dogs, especially working dogs.  Ninety-four percent of Texas voters Tuesday approved Proposition 10, which amends the Texas Constitution to allow law enforcement dogs and horses to be adopted by their handlers without a fee instead of being auctioned off or euthanized.

“I think it’s a great thing. It treats these animals that have given so much to law enforcement and public safety like what they are—law enforcement officers,” said Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar.

He says these K-9 officers love their handlers and their families.

“They are not property to be disposed of like you would a surplus patrol car or things of that nature,” said the sheriff. “These animals give so much of themselves and we owe it to them to take care of them in their golden years.”

He noted the recent retirement of Phoenix, a female K9 officer with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.

“She developed degenerative hip and back problems, so we adopted her to Deputy (Joseph) Canales and now she lives with the family as a pet,” Salazar told KTSA News. “Now she’s getting her nails painted by a little girl who’s happy to have her as a playmate, and that just warms your heart.”

Here’s Deputy Canales with K9 Phoenix before she was retired.

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