They've worked side by side for the last four years, and now thousands are signing a petition to ensure that they retire together too.
After 34 years on the force, Sergeant David Evans of the West Mercia Police is set to retire this April. His dedicated partner Ivy, a four-year-old Malinois/German Shepherd mix, isn't currently set to join him, but Evans and about 20,000 of his friends are working to make sure Ivy gets to live out the rest of her days right there by her handler's side.
Despite working together for years, Ivy is scheduled to be passed on to another officer after Sergeant Evans' retirement. Reportedly "heartbroken" at the prospect that he may not get to retire with his bed bud, Evans' daughter Jennie started a Change.org petition to help gather support online, which they hope might result in the successful
To date, the petition has gathered over 21,000 signatures, falling just under 3,500 short of reaching its goal.
"We had hoped for a few hundred people to sign it and take an interest, but it has been signed by people from as far as Canada and New Zealand," Jennie Evans said in an interview with ITV News.
In addition to the signatures gathered, Sergeant Evans has also offered to purchase Ivy from the department, as well as cover the cost of replacing her with a new K9 officer.
This isn't the first time an officer has fought for his K9 partner to join him in retirement. Just one year ago, Ohio officer Matt Hickey was finally awarded the opportunity to purchase his partner at an auction for $1.
— WTAE-TV Pittsburgh (@WTAE) February 5, 2016
Because the separation of handler and canine can be devastating for both parties involved, we truly hope the story of Sergeant Evans and Ivy ends on a happy note!
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