Retired McAllen schools police dog now gets to live with handler

Chief: 'I think he’s pretty paw-some'

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McAllen ISD K-9 officer Thor retired Monday, April 24, 2023, and will be living with the dog’s handler. (Courtesy Photo)

McAllen ISD K-9 officer Thor retired Monday evening accompanied by smiles, a standing ovation and no shortage of jokes.

Thor — a big, beaming 10-year-old Belgian Malinois — has been with the district seven years and is no longer medically fit for service.

“He’s done countless deployments, he’s assisted several agencies — to include federal agencies — recovering thousands of positive narcotics. So I think he’s pretty paw-some,” McAllen ISD police Chief Joey Silva joked at Monday’s board meeting.

Cpl. Ricardo Bernal, Thor’s current handler, will care for the creature going forward. Silva said it’s a bittersweet farewell.

“We treat him just like one of the guys,” he said. “We’re sad to see that he’s getting ready to retire, but he’s done his time, he’s ready to hang ‘em up. He’s ready to sit poolside by Cpl. Bernal’s swimming pool and have a pup-cup.”

Silva said the department is planning some sort of formal sendoff for Thor. Trustees were unanimous in approving the dog’s transfer to Bernal.

“I think it’s a beautiful thing,” Trustee Sofia Pena said.