Pit Bulls get a bad rap. They’re the most common breed found in shelters and they’ve long been tarred with an unfairly problematic reputation. Which makes it all the more wonderful that the Poughkeepsie Police Department has recruited a very special dog to join their team and prove that Pit Bulls are the good guys, too.
Kiah, a 60-pound Pit Bull, recently graduated from police training school, where she garnered strongly positive reviews from her trainer, Ulster County Deputy Sheriff George Carlson. In his words: “She’s social, she’s smart, she’s agile, and she was fairly easy to train.”
Not a bad landing spot for a dog who was found, like too many Pit Bulls, in a shelter. A partnership between Universal K9, Austin Pets Alive!, and the Animal Farm Foundation made her path to the academy possible. Now, with the Poughkeepsie Police Department, she’ll specialize in searching for missing persons and detecting drugs.
The most common breeds employed as police and military dogs are German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois. There are relatively few Pit Bulls – in fact, as far as Carlson knows, Kiah is the only Pit Bull police K-9 on the East Coast. But with her chance to set a good example, Kiah can make it easier for her fellow pitties to join her in the ranks of law enforcement. We’re excited to see Kiah on the front lines, not just fighting crime, but working for the image rehabilitation that Pit Bulls deserve.
“It’s about leveling the playing field,” Stacey Coleman, from the Animal Farm Foundation, says. “It’s about proving once and for all that the dogs labeled Pit Bull can do all the things the dogs not labeled Pit Bull can do.”
Featured Image via CPPD K9 Kiah