Pit Bulls have long had a negative reputation. But now, thanks to some open-minded cops, these former shelter dogs are not only saving police departments money, they’re helping to save lives.
Throughout the United States, Pit Bulls continue to be subject to judicial proceedings and breed extinction. However, a few organizations in Texas are attempting to break down these barriers through an innovative program that transforms rescued Pit Bulls into valuable K9 officers.
Faced with increasing budgetary constraints, some police departments are turning to non-profit organizations, such as Animal Farm Foundation, to acquire their K9 partners, who are former shelter canines.
Unlike conventionally bred and trained police canines, which can cost police departments upwards of $10,000, these rescued dogs are provided at no cost due to the sponsorships and donations of time and money from the organizations involved.
Animal Farm Foundation collaborates with local rescues like Austin Pets Alive! to locate and fund shelter dogs that Universal K9 can then train to become police dogs. Pit Bulls are among the rescued and specially-trained canines. Pit Bulls are frequently mislabeled as dangerous and aggressive, but when given the opportunity, they make excellent K9s.
“Any dog with the motivation, self-assurance, and desire to work can do it! Brad Croft, founder of Universal K9, explains that a dog’s breed does not affect its capacity to work. Croft has long advocated for Pit Bulls and conceived the concept of rescuing and training them for police work. Croft states that he seeks out dogs that are inquisitive, self-assured, and anxious to please. They must also possess the necessary instincts for detection work.
K9 Mollie and her new handler. She was recruited from The Buster Foundation and is a narcotics officer with the Appalachia, Virginia, PD. Image of a Universal K9
Austin Animals Alive! Local animal shelters are on the lookout for high-drive dogs that may be candidates for Brad’s Universal K9 training program.
Once the rescued Pit Bulls arrive at Croft’s training facility, they are taught how to detect drugs, explosives, arson, missing persons, and other police duties.
Croft acknowledges that it can be difficult to place Pit Bull-type dogs with police departments, but he has located a number of police departments with an open mentality and has successfully placed the dogs.
Animal Farm Foundation’s sponsorships and financial support are assisting to open more doors in police departments across the country, despite the persistence of prejudice.
Since the program’s inception roughly ten “Pit Bull” canines have been placed with law enforcement agencies over the past few years, according to Croft. Among them is K9 Libby, who operates in the Texas county of Montgomery. She is known as “The World’s Coolest Police Dog.”
In addition, Kiah, a Pit Bull who had been rescued from the Kirby Animal Shelter in Texas, became a rookie K9 Sniffer Dog for the Poughkeepsie Police Department. The ASPCA Public Service Award is being given to Kiah because she performed her responsibilities so successfully. K9 Kiah is paving the way for other police forces and “pit bull” dogs around the nation as the first “pit bull” police canine in the state of New York.
This program is amazing and a wonderful method to dispel myths and preconceptions about the Pit Bull breed while simultaneously saving shelter dogs. These rescued canines are making a significant contribution to their local communities.