K-9 Ringo

Blond Lab K-9 Ringo sitting with his police vest onName: K-9 JOHNNY “RINGO”

Breed: Labrador Retriever (Male)

DOB: September 25, 2002

Agency: Washington State Patrol, Ellensburg, WA

Discipline: Single Purpose Narcotics Detection

Formal Schooling and Certifications: K-9 RINGO attended an eight week Narcotics Detection Course with the Washington State Patrol and the U.S. Border Patrol in April 2004. He was certified in Narcotics Detection with the Washington State Patrol, U.S. Border Patrol, The California Narcotics Canine Association and The National Narcotic Detection Dog Association. RINGO retired in April 2013.

Career Stats: K-9 RINGO had approximately 700 deployments in his career, resulting in over 580 narcotic related finds.

Additional Information: K-9 RINGO was donated to the Washington State Patrol by a family from Tacoma, WA. He was too much for their small city lot and they were looking for a new home for him. RINGO was brought to the Washington State Patrol K-9 Training Center in Shelton, WA, in April 2004. RINGO’s handler liked him because he was the only dog at the training center that was not constantly barking.

RINGO spent his working career in both Kittitas and Yakima Counties. He was assigned the job of traffic law enforcement. Within the first month of working on road, RINGO had one of the largest methamphetamine seizures in the history of the State of Washington. Throughout his career, he had worked with numerous federal, state and local agencies throughout Washington. RINGO performed numerous demonstrations for community groups and school children. He was a gentle lab that every child wanted to hug.

When RINGO retired, he was credited with seizing over one million in US Currency, over 1,000 pounds of marijuana and several pounds of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin. RINGO now spends his retirement with his initial handler and trainer, Paul Woodside, and his family. RINGO enjoys living his retirement days like a dog should. He takes long naps in front of the fireplace and gets plenty of dog treats. RINGO’s handler has a new Narcotics Detection Canine living at home as well. Everyday, RINGO is ready to go to work but has to stay home and enjoy retired life.

Within the first year of retirement, RINGO developed a medical condition known as Laryngeal Paralysis. Laryngeal Paralysis is a condition where the larynx, or windpipe, begins to lose function and stays closed. This condition makes the dog unable to breathe and, if left untreated, the dog will eventually suffocate and die. In the spring of 2014, RINGO’s family elected to perform a life-saving surgery called Laryngeal-tie-back surgery at Washington State University. This was a $3,500 expense from the family budget and was not covered by the Washington State Patrol because he was now retired. Immediately after the surgery, RINGO could breathe normally. This surgery gave him a few more years to enjoy life. The family said it was the best $3,500 they ever spent because it bought more time with RINGO.

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