With more pit bulls in shelters than any other breed type, many are doing whatever they can to help these guys get forever homes.
Animal Farm Foundation (AFF), a non-profit animal rescue and advocacy group, is dedicated to “securing equal treatment and opportunity for ‘pit bull’ dogs. Whether the dog is called a “pit bull” because of a documented pedigree, or merely on the basis of physical appearance, recognizing that these dogs are individuals for whom we are responsible is an integral step toward a compassionate future for all dogs.”
To that end, the group began a detection dog program, “which proves that ‘pit bull’ dogs can perform the same law enforcement work traditionally reserved for pure bred, purpose bred dogs,” Bernice Clifford, Director of Training and Behavior for AFF, told iHeartDogs.com.
In March 2015, the partnered with Universal K9 and Austin Pets Alive! to begin rescuing and training pitties for detection work. The Animal Farm Foundation rescues the dogs from the Austin Pets Alive! Shelter system and then covers the costs (including care and housing) to have them trained as police detection dogs by Universal K9.
How do they chose the dogs for the program?
“Universal K9 and Austin Pets Alive! look for qualities such as high toy or food drive, friendly disposition and high energy as indicators that a dog may be a good candidate for detection work,” Clifford said.
The dogs are trained for narcotics and sometimes explosives detection.
“Shelter dogs, identified for the detection dog program by Austin Pets Alive!, undergo a 4-8 week training process in San Antonio, Texas, with trainer and founder of Universal K9, Brad Croft,” Clifford said. “From there, the dogs can be placed with police departments across the country that are in need of a detection dog.”
They are then placed in police departments around the country at no charge. You can sponsor a pitty to help cover the training costs.
So far, seven dogs have been trained, including K9 Kiah with the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department and K9 Remi for the Midlothian Police Department– and they are already on their way to being heroes.
Kiah is proving her skills are not limited to just narcotics, but also people. So the department plans on using her for when children go missing.
“K9 Remi has done so much good in her community,” said Brad Croft, Trainer and Founder of Universal K9. “K9 Remi is responsible for tracking two Felony offenders after they tried to run an officer over in a stolen vehicle and took off on foot. Remi tracked them a very long distance through houses, over fences, through the woods down to a barn where they were hiding with a lot of drugs on them. Remi is an awesome dog!”