When you think of a K9 police dog, you probably picture an expensive purebred German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois standing at attention and waiting for commands. You probably don’t think of a pup from your local shelter with too much energy that nobody wants. Well, police stations around the country are now turning to shelter dogs to train for help with police work. Here are 7 shelter dogs who grew up for a life with a badge. Good dogs, good dogs! What you gonna do when they come for you?
1. Duke Went From Life Tied To A Tree To Sniffing Out Drugs
Duke wasn’t bred and raised for police work. In fact, the Pit Bull/Dalmatian mix spent the early years of his life tied to a tree. He was rescued by a group called Universal K9 and trained to detect five different kinds of drugs. Now he works for the Mountainburg, Arkansas Police Department as their first K9 dog, and he helps sniff out drugs at traffic stops and in schools.
2. Jax Went From Wandering The Streets To Tracking For The Police
Most people wouldn’t adopt a dog with as much energy as Jax. The Blue Heeler mix was found wandering the street when he was brought to the shelter, and he didn’t get along well with other dogs. His high energy was, however, perfect for training to do police work. Universal K9 stepped in again and took Jax out of the shelter. He was trained to replace a tracking dog that had passed away at Lincoln County Constable Post 1 in Mississippi, and he was also trained to detect narcotics, so now he’s a dual-purpose K9 dog.
3. Zara Was Surrendered To The Shelter, But Now She Has Her Partner’s Back
When Zara’s owner turned her in to the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria in Virginia, her chances of getting adopted weren’t great. The young Belgian Malinois had too much energy for most families. Instead of letting her energy go to waste, the shelter decided to put it to good use and called the Alexandria Police Department to see if Zara would be a good candidate for their K9 training program, and she passed their tests with flying colors. Now she’s a member of the department and always has her partner’s back.
4. Oakley Was Anxious In The Shelter, But Now He Chases Bad Guys
As a high-strung, anxious shelter dog, Oakley almost certainly would have been euthanized if it weren’t for Lieutenant Bart Beck of the Ludlow Police Department in Kentucky. When the officer first met Oakley, he wasn’t sure if the dog would bite him. Instead, the pup jumped up and licked his face. Beck saw Oakley’s potential, and with a year of training he got the dog ready for police work. Shortly after being certified, Oakley chased down his first suspect.
5. Aurik Was Given Up By His Owner, But Now He Wears A Police Vest
Like a lot of dogs on this list, Aurik’s high energy made him poorly suited for normal pet life. His first owner gave him up, but Aurik was lucky to be rescued by a family that saw his high energy as perfect for police work. The pup was taken in by Throw Away Dogs Project, a group that takes shelter dogs and trains them to be K9s. He worked hard and eventually passed all of his tests before being signed on to the Trenton, New Jersey K9 unit. His new partner, Officer Michael Lucchesi, is the founder of an organization that gives vests to police dogs free of charge, so you known that these two are protecting each other on the job.
6. Gia Goes From Stray To Child Predator Buster
Gia came to the shelter as a shy stray, and she had no idea why she had gone from street life to living with humans and other dogs. She was adopted into a police K9 unit by detectives in Manatee County, Florida to save money and help the local pet population, and she was trained for a rather unusual purpose. She can sniff out hard drives and SD cards that could be hiding child pornography, and she’s one of only a few dogs in the world that can perform that task. She’s a very special pup who works to keep children safe.
7. Bear Went From Rescue To Bringing Down Jared From Subway
Much like Gia, Bear the Labrador Retriever is trained to bust child predators. He was given up by his first family who couldn’t contain his energy or stop him from jumping up on counters or furniture. His trainer, Todd Jordan from Tactical Detection K-9, knew right away that Bear’s energy made him perfect for police work. He trained the pup to sniff out data storage devices. Bear’s sniffer actually tracked down former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle’s stash and was used in the investigation of Olympics Gymnastics coach Marvin Sharp. He’s so good at his job, he was sold to the Seattle Police Department to help bring down child pornographers.
Are you glad to have these shelter pups with badges looking out for you? Would you like to see more police departments relying on shelter dogs? Let us know in the comments below!