As if being a woman isn’t already hard enough, it tends to come with even more challenges when you also happen to be a pit bull. Unfortunately pit bull stereotyping has only been perpetuated and somewhat even created by Hollywood in the past few decades, as pit bulls in movies and on TV are often portrayed as mean, aggressive, and a little bit of a wild card in general. As many pittie lovers out there already know however, most are actually incredibly loving, loyal, and protective of their owners. In fact, for over 100 years, pit bulls were considered the perfect nanny dog for children.
These days, there’s a proud new female officer on the streets of New York who is working hard to do her part in reversing breed stereotypes. The bold little lady’s name is Kiah the pit bull and she started out as a stray who was abandoned in a grocery store parking lot by her owners.
Thankfully however, due to a collaborative effort by AFF and Universal K9′s Detection Dogs Program, Kaih was not only rescued but given the job skills necessary to embark on a whole new career as a police K9 officer.
Not only did Kiah graduate at the top of her class, she holds the distinct honor of being the first pit bull ever to serve as an officer in New York State. These days Kiah enjoys a flourishing career sniffing out narcotics as she rolls through the streets of Poughkeepsie with her human partner, Justin Bruzgul, and their unit.
When it comes to her career, Kiah owes much of her thanks to trainer Brad Croft, who proudly says that, “Kiah is one of the top three dogs I’ve ever placed.”
Though pit bulls may not be the first breed that comes to mind when it comes to potential police dogs, Croft believes that any dog who is curious, confident, and attentive has the potential it takes to make it on the force. That’s why AFF, (Austin Pets Alive!) and Universal K9 have recently been collaborating to take in pit bull rescues from various shelters and training them to serve on K9 units.
In fact Kiah and Officer Bruzgul began their training in Texas, while reaching out to various departments to see if there was interest in taking on a certified pit bull sniffing machine. Sure enough, they were to find their future home at the Poughkeepsie Police Department where they headed to begin their service upon graduation.
As soon as her paws hit the ground, Kiah began proving herself to be just valuable as the department could have hoped. Her proud partner Bruzgul explains, “I’m getting her out there and exposing her to the public as much as possible. I’ve had nothing but great responses from the public.”
Not only is this brave little rescue rocking a vest with the best of them, she’s taking names, saving lives, and proving yet again just how amazing pit bulls can be.
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