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Troubled Shelter Pit Bull Becomes Indiana’s First Police K9

Written by: Adri Sandoval
Adri Sandoval is the Special Projects Manager for iHeartDogs and iHeartCats. Her work has deepened her love for animals, fostering a strong passion for rescue and animal advocacy.Read more
| Published on October 24, 2018

The small town Kennard, Indiana has welcomed the state’s first Pit Bull K9 onto it’s team! K9 Jasper is a handsome boy who had a rough start, but thanks to shelters who refused to give up on him, is now right where he belongs!

Jasper was found as a stray by the Prince William County Animal Shelter, who believed that he had been hit by a car. Though he was smart and loyal, Jasper wasn’t easy to place. With his extreme energy he needed a person who had the time and patience to train him one-on-one. He left the shelter twice with hope that he had found a home only to be returned when his new people realized they weren’t up to the task.

After a few months Jasper was transferred to the Prince William County Humane Society, but found no luck there either. After an incident where Jasper bit a worker his future became suddenly much more uncertain. Jill Gregory with the Prince William County Humane Society told,

“We were really hoping we’d be able to do more for him, but we ended up having the same issues. We were kind of at our wit’s end.”

Still, the shelter wasn’t going to give up on Jasper.

“I’m just here thinking he’s an awesome dog, so smart. But in this environment, there’s not much more to do but look cute and hope someone takes them home.”

PWCHS President Lori Leary called Off-Leash K9 Training, who performed two evaluation tests on Jasper to see if he might be good for police work. When Jasper passed, they contacted the Throw Away Dogs Project, who took Jasper out of the shelter and into their training program for drug detection dogs.

Meanwhile, Kennard police recognized their need for a narcotics detection dog. Like many small towns, drugs were becoming more and more problematic for police. Drug detection is a job that can only be done by a dog, but Kennard PD had no budget to add a K9 to their team. Hopeful, they submitted an application to the Throw Away Dogs Project and it was approved! On September 30th, Deputy Chief Donald Crabtree attended Jasper’s graduation from the program and expressed his excitement at working with him. Jasper is trained to sniff out cocaine, ecstasy, heroin and meth, and is going to help clean up the town of Kennard!

“He’s going to be a major, major asset in Kennard, Indiana.”

Jasper, who had been hit by a car, returned to a shelter twice, moved from one shelter to another, and was nearing the end, is now an asset to the Kennard Police Department! Deputy Chief Crabtree and Jasper have already formed a close bond – it’s a happily ever after for both.

“I’ve never owned a pit bull, but I wouldn’t trade him in for any other breed. You can look in his eyes and see the love there. We’re definitely bonded. This guy won’t let me do anything alone.”


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A post shared by K9 Jasper (@k9.jasper) on

They can both thank the shelters who refused to let Jasper down, and organizations like the Throw Away Dog Project that are changing the way people think about Pit Bulls.

Because there is still no room in the Kennard PD’s budget for a K9, Deputy Chief Crabtree is paying for Jasper’s expenses out-of-pocket. However, the community is excited for their newest police officer, and have shown their support via donations to a GoFundMe for Jasper’s care.

Jasper now has his own social media page! Follow k9.jasper on Instagram for more photos!

Featured Photo: Throw Away Dogs Project/Facebook

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