UVA Police Department Honors K-9 Muki ahead of His Retirement
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - An officer from the University of Virginia Police Department is wagging his tail straight into retirement.
On Friday, April 5, police honored K-9 Muki for his nine years of service.
Muki has a little more responsibility than your average dog.
“K-9 Muki’s our explosive detection dog here at UVA,” Audrell Ragland, a K-9 officer at UVA, said.
For nearly nine years, Muki has put his nose to good use and sniffed around to ensure the safety of hundreds of events.
“Any event here, any dignitary, Muki and I come, we sweep the event before anyone is allowed to come in,” Ragland said.
Ragland, his handler, has been by his side for the last three years.
“Ever since then we've been best friends,” Ragland said. “He's been basically my best friend and my partner for the last three years.”
But after a medical emergency, Muki is now retiring from the force.
“The doctor called us and let us know he had a tumor, a lemon-sized tumor, in his throat,” Ragland said.
Now, officers and community members from UVA are honoring Muki's service.
“First and foremost, Muki is a part of our family, an actual officer in our eyes, and we truly appreciate the contribution, the fact that Muki is a professional, trusted colleague,” Chief Tommye Sutton of the UVA Police Department said.
During the ceremony, Muki got some awards and enjoyed a special treat.
“The shear amount of events that Muki has worked, and the number of people that have enjoyed those events because of Muki's work, he has truly served our community and we're really, really thankful,” Sutton said.
Despite leaving the force, Muki has a bright future ahead with his best friend.
“He has become my personal pet and so now we've got a new K-9 and that's K-9 Nala,” Ragland said. “She's a two-year-old black German shepherd.”
And it looks like Muki is enjoying his retirement.
“So now she does all the work and Muki gets to stay at home and lay up on the sofa and eat treats all day,” Ragland said.
Along with K-9 Nala, the UVA Police Department is also looking into acquiring another K-9 to expand its program.