Kiah – Source: Facebook/Universal K9

There’s no breed of dog that has it harder than the pit bull. Years of people training them to be vicious attackers has branded the entire breed as dangerous. People don’t trust them and many states have banned them entirely. This is of course nonsense. The dogs aren’t to be blamed for the way they are treated. Enter Kiah. Kiah was a pitbull who had been beaten horribly. She was badly injured and had been placed in a shelter to recover.

Kiah – Source: Facebook/Universal K9

UniversalK9 is an organization that trains dogs and humans to work as partners in law enforcement. K9 units have always been useful to the police force. Their operations director is named Brad Croft. Brad was looking for new dogs at the shelter where Kiah was.

Rather than passing on her because of her breed, Brad instead focused on her temperament. Kiah was still willing to come up and be gentle with him despite the severe trauma she had been through. Brad chose to take her back and see what would happen when he trained her.

It only took 2 months, but Kiah was a revelation! She was so happy to work and excited to complete all the tasks given to her. She learned everything quickly and essentially was a police dog prodigy. She worked harder than the others and she worked faster. It wasn’t going to be long before she graduated with full honors and was ready to serve and protect.

Rugby – Source: Facebook/Universal K9

Soon after training, Brad was contacted by the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department. They were looking for a new police dog to add to the force. It was perfect timing and Kiah was absolutely ready to be placed. She became the first pitbull police dog in New York state. It may seem like an arbitrary thing, but the truth is that as more pit bulls are placed as police dogs, it can help lower the stigma attached to them. This, in turn, can get the regional bans on owning pit bulls removed.

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Since then, UniversalK9 has taken in a lot of pit bulls to be trained. They have already matched up 20 of the dogs with police forces and it’s not likely they are going to stop anytime soon. Shelters end up with a lot of pit bulls relative to their population due to mistreatment.

Rocko – Source: Facebook/Universal K9

What the people at UniversalK9 are doing is fantastic. They have shown they were able to get past a dog prejudice that exists out there. Pitbulls aren’t horrible monsters waiting to hurt children. They are incredibly smart and loyal dogs that want to please their masters and to be useful and loved. Ideally, more training centers are going to realize the potential they have in not just pit bulls, but in dogs that come from shelters. These dogs deserve another chance and are often the most grateful and hardest working when they get it. Obviously, not all mistreated dogs have the temperament for it, but it’s worth checking them out!

Let’s give thanks to the people at UniversalK9 for doing what they are, and check out their Facebook page to let them know you support the work they are doing. It can be tough fighting anti-pitbull groups in cyberspace. Letting them hear good things can only help.


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