Outrage as North Carolina police department puts ailing K-9 named Pac-Man in SHELTER instead of letting him retire with his handler, even after he offered to buy him

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Written By Maya Cantina

Outrage flooded a local police department in North Carolina after cops placed an ailing K-9 German Shepherd named Pac-Man into a shelter instead of allowing him to retire with his former handler. 

The police K-9 Pac-Man, aged 7, has been sleeping in the kennel at a shelter since November last year, despite his former handler Nathan Ingram offering to buy him. 

Ingram worked with Pac-Man for the past three years with the Dunn Police Department in North Carolina, but he had been on light duty, recovering from an injury in October last year. 

But during an unexpected phone call, Dunn Police Chief Cary Jackson told Ingram that she’s taking his faithful companion to the Dunn Animal Shelter. 

Ingram offered to cover the cost for Pac-Man, who has had joint pain and suffered from anxiety, if he was allowed to retire and live with him, but the chief refused. 

The police K-9 Pac-Man, aged 7, has been sleeping in the kennel at a shelter since November last year, despite his former handler Nathan Ingram (right) offering to buy him

Ingram worked with Pac-Man for the past three years with the Dunn Police Department in North Carolina, but he had been on light duty, recovering from an injury in October last year

Ingram worked with Pac-Man for the past three years with the Dunn Police Department in North Carolina, but he had been on light duty, recovering from an injury in October last year

Dunn Police Chief Cary Jackson told Ingram that she's taking his faithful companion to the Dunn Animal Shelter

Pac-Man pictured in shelter

Ingram offered to cover the cost for Pac-Man, who has had joint pain and suffered from anxiety, if he was allowed to retire and live with him, but the chief refused.

‘He went to work with me every day I worked, he came home with me, stayed at my house every night, for three years. And then he was suddenly taken,’ Ingram told CBS. 

‘Obviously he doesn’t have a voice for himself. I can just imagine just not knowing what’s going on, like hey, why am I here this long?’ Ingram added. 

Ingram, who has since left the department for a new job, claimed that the removal of Pac-Man from his car was an act of retaliation for his absence during a department photo shoot with the dog. 

But Jackson disputed, saying Pac-Man was sent to the shelter because Ingram’s injury would not allow him to take care of the dog. 

Jackson said: ‘That is simply not true. We’re not going to get into the back-and-forth.’ 

‘Based on the restrictions that were issued on him by his physician, we made the decision to remove the handler from him, so he could make sure that he was receiving appropriate care.’

Ingram rebuffed the claim, saying: ‘I was fully able to care for Pac-Man during this time. It was not removed from my home for the reasons being portrayed to the public.’

The police K-9 Pac-Man, aged 7, has been sleeping in the kennel at a shelter since November last year

The police K-9 Pac-Man, aged 7, has been sleeping in the kennel at a shelter since November last year

Ingram, who has since left the department for a new job, claimed that the removal of Pac-Man from his car was an act of retaliation for his absence during a department photo shoot with the dog

Ingram, who has since left the department for a new job, claimed that the removal of Pac-Man from his car was an act of retaliation for his absence during a department photo shoot with the dog

But Jackson disputed, saying Pac-Man was sent to the shelter because Ingram's injury would not allow him to take care of the dog

But Jackson disputed, saying Pac-Man was sent to the shelter because Ingram’s injury would not allow him to take care of the dog

The heartbroken former officer mentioned that his companion is known to have leg issues, suffer from anxiety, and has been in poor medical condition. 

But the department has refused to allow Pac-Man to retire, Ingram said, emphasizing that this is not the first time of such incident within the same police department. 

‘I just want Pac-Man to come home and would be forever grateful if he could enter into retirement and enjoy the last few years that he may have left,’ Ingram told local news station WRAL. 

The chief insisted that the dog is able to work, describing Pac-Man as ‘a healthy, loved, and respected member’ of the agency. 

‘We feel like he’s fully capable based on our consultation with our veterinarian and police trainers, canine trainers,’ Jackson said. 

‘It would be an injustice to K-9 Apacs to retire and not be able to do what he lives to do, which is work and provide a service to the City of Dunn,’ she said. 

The heartbroken former officer mentioned that his companion is known to have leg issues, suffer from anxiety, and has been in poor medical condition

The heartbroken former officer mentioned that his companion is known to have leg issues, suffer from anxiety, and has been in poor medical condition

The chief insisted that the dog is able to work

The chief described Pac-Man as 'a healthy, loved, and respected member' of the agency

But the department has refused to allow Pac-Man to retire, Ingram said, emphasizing that this is not the first time of such incident within the same police department

 In a lengthy statement released last week by the police department, Jackson said Pac-Man has been medically cleared and would start his training soon. 

‘Appropriate training for this K-9 officer/handler and Apacs has been arranged and will begin next week at no additional cost to the taxpayers of Dunn,’ she said. 

‘All the previously mentioned care for Dunn P.D.’s K-9 Apacs has been necessitated as a result of the former K-9 officer’s voluntary separation from Dunn Police Department,’ writes Jackson. 

‘At no time has K-9 Apacs been “abandoned” at the Dunn Animal Shelter. He has been personally cared for and medically cleared to continue his service as a working police dog.’ 

The agency did not specify who the next handler for Pac-Man will be, leading to conflicting information in local reports. 

The police dog was reportedly moved to the custody and care of Dunn’s Animal Control Director Courtney Hayter when Ingram was placed on medical leave last year. 

He was then moved to a climate-controlled kennel at the shelter when Hayter started a basic law enforcement training in January. 

Officer N.A. Blanchard is reported to become his new handler, as mentioned by the Daily Record, but he’s still waiting for a kennel to be built at his home. 

However, other local media outlets assert that Sgt. Adam Sikorski will become the new handler, as he said it’s time to move forward. 

Sikorski told WARL: ‘This is what he lives for – working, finding drugs, finding bad guys. We start training on Monday, which we are really excited for.’

In a lengthy statement released last week by the police department, Jackson said Pac-Man has been medically cleared and would start his training soon

In a lengthy statement released last week by the police department, Jackson said Pac-Man has been medically cleared and would start his training soon

The agency did not specify who the next handler for Pac-Man will be, leading to conflicting information in local reports

The agency did not specify who the next handler for Pac-Man will be, leading to conflicting information in local reports

 According to a post shared by an account named ‘Pac-Man Retire K-9 Officer APAC,’ the police dog has been assigned to his third handler for training last week. 

The petition to allow Pac-Man has since elicited overwhelming reactions from social media users, including some locals who even attended the city’s council meeting to voice their concerns last week. 

Johnnie Jackson, who worked with dogs in law enforcement, including with the Dunn police, is one of the people advocating for Pac-Man’s retirement. 

‘The way K-9 Pacman has been treated by Chief Cary Jackson infuriates me. I’ve lost all respect for the Leadership of Dunn Police department and its council. 

‘The moves being allowed with this 7-year-old dog lacks any common sense or heart,’ he added. 

‘For this dog to have been in a shelter for two months and now all the sudden in a week, it gets thrown with a handler, and in another week it’s in a school, in my opinion, it’s too much on an old dog,’ he said at the city’s council meeting. 

‘It’s like if I stayed in the same profession, or you did, for 49 years, and then all of the sudden, I get thrown out where I got to run like I used to, and jump like I used to, because when they go to school, it’s not an easy school.’ 

DailyMail.com has reached out to the Dunn Police Department for comments and further information.  

North Carolina

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