Former Police Officer Trying To Buy Back Canine Partner

(WCYB) If you saw Justin Miller and his dog Emmy together you would think they are best friends, but the duo has been through a lot together.

That includes putting their safety at risk to protect others.

Miller is a former Damascus, Virginia police officer and Emmy was his partner, a trained narcotics dog.

"Emmy has also been trained to bite for fugitive apprehension. You don't really want a dog like that in the hands of the general public. I just don't want her to fall into the wrong hands," he says.

In July of this year Miller turned in his resignation.

"Usually if a handler resigns or retires or something like that, usually the department will offer to let them buy the canine," says Miller.

That's not the case this time. The Damascus Town Council voted to sell the dog and is accepting sealed bids. The minimum price is $3,000.

Damascus Mayor Jack McCrady says Emmy was purchased with an equipment fund in May of 2012.

"Unfortunately it is considered a piece of equipment and it has to be liquidated as a piece of equipment. So unfortunately we have to put it out to bid," he says.

To Miller, Emmy isn't a piece of equipment -- she's an officer and a part of his family. That's why he is trying to raise money to keep her.

"It's not fair to Emmy to be taken away from her handler and be given to someone who possibly doesn't know anything about dogs and doesn't know how to handle her," he said.

Miller says if Emmy is taken away he will be devastated, but until that time comes Emmy will stay with his family and continue to be his partner.

Miller has set up a 'You Caring' account to raise money to keep Emmy. He says any additional money left over will be given to animal shelters in the area that rely on donations. Click here to visit the website.

The bid will be open for 30 to 60 days.


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