Despite the ongoing prejudices and discrimination against pit bulls in many parts of the country, a number of organizations in Texas are working hard to overcome these challenges. They have developed an innovative program that transforms rescued pit bulls into highly valued K9 cops.
As police departments face mounting budgetary pressures, some have started partnering with non-profit organizations like Animal Farm Foundation to obtain their K9 partners. These furry recruits, who were once shelter dogs, are provided free of charge to police departments thanks to the generous donations of time and money from the organizations involved.
This is a significant cost-saving measure for police departments, as the price tag for traditionally bred and trained police dogs can often exceed $10,000. By leveraging the skills and loyalty of these rescued pit bulls, these organizations are not only helping to reduce costs but also to break down stereotypes and promote positive change.
Animal Farm Foundation collaborates with local rescues, including Austin Pets Alive!, to identify and finance shelter dogs that have the potential to become police dogs with the help of Universal K9’s training. These dogs include Pit Bulls, which are often unfairly labeled as dangerous and aggressive. However, Pit Bulls can be excellent K9s if given the opportunity. According to Brad Croft, founder of Universal K9, any dog with drive, confidence, and a willingness to work can be trained for this job. Breed does not determine a dog’s ability to work. Croft particularly seeks out dogs that exhibit curiosity, self-assurance, and a desire to please, along with the necessary instincts for detection work. He has been a long-time advocate for Pit Bulls and came up with the concept of rescuing and training them for police work.
K9 Mollie has found a new home with her handler at Appalachia PD VA, thanks to The Buster Foundation. Austin Pets Alive! and other shelters are on the lookout for energetic dogs to join Brad’s Universal K9 training program. The rescued Pit Bulls undergo rigorous training at Croft’s facility to become skilled in tasks such as detecting narcotics, explosives, missing persons, and more.
According to Croft, it’s not always easy to find suitable police departments willing to take in Pit Bull type dogs. However, he has come across a few departments that were receptive and accommodating, allowing him to place these dogs successfully.
Despite the ongoing discrimination against Pit Bulls, Animal Farm Foundation’s sponsorships and financial aid are making significant headway in increasing their acceptance in police departments nationwide. According to Croft, the initiative has successfully placed approximately 10 “Pit Bull” dogs with law enforcement agencies over the past few years, including K9 Libby, who has earned the title of “The World’s Raddest Police Dog” while working in Montgomery County, Texas.
Kiah, a Pit Bull who was rescued from Kirby Animal Shelter in Texas, has recently become a Rookie K9 Sniffer Dog for the Poughkeepsie Police Department. She has been performing exceptionally well in her duties, which has earned her the ASPCA Public Service Award. Being the first pit bull police dog in New York State, K9 Kiah is setting an example for other police departments and pit bulls across the nation.
What an amazing initiative! It’s not just about rescuing shelter dogs, but also about dispelling misconceptions and biases towards Pit Bulls. These dogs are not only being given a second chance at life, but they are also contributing to their communities in a significant way.