More and more police forces are adopting an ingenious idea to get more trained K9 partners, while also providing homes for precious pit bulls.
“Instead of spending $10,000 to $15,000 for a trained Belgian or GSD, they are now taking pit bulls from shelters and training them, and they are proving themselves to be amazing police and military K9′s.”
Pit bulls are incredibly obedient and can be trained to do almost anything that their owners need, so it only makes sense that they would be great police dogs!
But the poor pits get a bad reputation for being dangerous and have been victims of legislation trying and ban them from entire communities — something called Protect Pit Bulls from BSL (breed-specific legislation) is trying to stop.
Fortunately, the police training is helping to change how people see them by showing that they can be well-trained, protective, and professional animals.
Organizations like the Animal Farm Foundation have been collaborating with Austin Pets Alive! and Universal K9 to give sheltered pit bulls the proper training to be detective dogs.
In their training, they learn everything from narcotics, explosives, cadaver, and arson detection to criminal apprehension.
“Any dog that has the drive, confidence, and desire to work can do it! Breed does not dictate a dog’s ability to work,” explained Universal K9 founder Brad Croft.
Training rescued pit bulls also means that the police spend a lot less money.
Purebred, trained German Shepherds, or Belgian Malinois, which are usually found on police forces, can cost tens of thousands of dollars!
Police departments all over the country have introduced pit bulls to the force, like the Washougal Police Department, the Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia Police Department, and the Poughkeepsie Police Department in New York.
If they weren’t adopted by the trainers and turned into police dogs, there’s a chance that the poor pit bulls would have been euthanized in their shelters.
“AFF [Austin Pets Alive!] stresses treating each dog as an individual — we can’t base their behavior on their appearance or their past. Clifford doesn’t speculate or dwell on their past. The dogs don’t either. Let them be dogs,” explains K9 trainer Bernice Clifford.
The police department trainers have full faith that pit bulls are perfect for their training — in fact, the only difficulty they have ever had with the breed is getting them to be aggressive toward people!
With the help of AFF, the K9 trainers, and the cop squads, pit bulls are proving to everyone that there is no reason to treat them any differently.
Now that more and more of them being put to work, hopefully they will soon be renowned as heroes rather than safety hazards.
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