Shelter Dogs See New Life as K9 Units

Traditionally police K9 units have been hand selected dogs from very specific breeds, and while that still remains true for many k9 units it is starting to change in some areas. Specifically, one K9 trainer in Texas is making waves by introducing his latest group of trainees, all of which were picked from shelters in the area. No longer do trained K9 units need to be purebreds trained from birth, now police forces can begin adopting dogs from shelters to do the job as well.

Sheriff K-9 Unit
Uniform shirt of a K-9 unit officer from a US sheriff’s department

Brad Croft, the creator of Universal K9, says that he started the whole program because he wanted to make a difference and save lives of dogs from shelters. He picked out a group of dogs and gave it a shot and the results he saw were overwhelming, he successfully trained a group of shelter dogs to detect bombs, drugs, and other contraband. He’s continued with the process and is on track to save and train upwards of 100 dogs this year, all of which will go into service with police forces around the United States. One of the biggest benefits to police forces is that it costs nothing at all, Croft’s group donates the dogs to any unit in need.

For the longest time people believed that police dogs needed to be certain breeds or be trained from birth, but Croft has effectively shown that is not true. Croft says that in just 8 weeks he feels he can train nearly any shelter dog to be an effective and efficient drug or explosive detector, and he hopes to continue making an impact. The goal is to continue growing and keep donating dogs to police forces in need, he’s hoping that next year he’ll double or more, saving 200 to 300 local shelter dogs if he can.

If your local police force is in need of some K9 units maybe they’ll soon be picking up on of these great dogs. Nothing is better than seeing shelter dogs rescued and put to work, and the life of a K9 officer is one of the best ways for that to happen.


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