ESSEX, COUNTY, NJ — Five furry Essex County officers will find themselves without a job in the new year, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Due to budget demands, Essex County will disband its K-9 unit and will enter into a new shared services agreement with other law enforcement agencies starting in January 2020. The supporting agencies will provide the same level of service and response to the county. 

"Throughout its tenure, our K-9 Unit has been a vital part of our law enforcement initiatives, assisting our narcotics and bomb units as well as our local, state and federal law enforcement partners," Sheriff Armando Fontoura said.

The K-9 officers will have a chance to be adopted by their handlers, according to Fontoura. Those who do not get adopted will be placed elsewhere and “well cared for.”