Attention canine fans: Colonial Williamsburg’s Liberty and Justice have left the building.
Four months after Colonial Williamsburg announced the Briards were going to retire, the foundation has confirmed the dogs’ careers have come to a close with the foundation.
The two licensed therapy dogs finished out their third year at Colonial Williamsburg before being returned to their breeder, the foundation officials said.
At the end of 2018, the Briards officially retired, foundation spokesman Joe Straw confirmed this week. When the retirement was announced in September, Straw said there was no set date for their retirement.
Colonial Williamsburg has no plans to adopt new mascots. The dogs’ handlers were offered new roles with the foundation, the foundation said last year.
The retirement was prompted by multiple factors, including changes in services offered by the dogs’ longtime care and boarding provider. The dogs were also set to retire within two years.
The dogs were introduced online in August 2015. They were purchased as puppies from a licensed breeder in New Mexico, according to an online blog post at the time.
The post has since been removed.
In the post, Colonial Williamsburg President and CEO Mitchell Reiss said the idea for the mascots came from witnessing the everyday interactions between guests and the dogs on Duke of Gloucester Street.
Justice’s and Liberty’s breeder is now responsible for re-homing the dogs, per their original contract with Colonial Williamsburg.
Previously, Straw declined to disclose how much Colonial Williamsburg paid for the dogs, the identity of their breeder and boarding provider and what specific changes prompted the decision to retire the dogs before the end of their contract.
“The top priorities for both the foundation and their breeder is the pair’s health, welfare and quality of life,” Straw said.