For a long time, American police dog training schemes regularly imported K9 dogs from abroad. Puppies, which were specially bred and hand selected to perform in a superior manner, were shipped in and trained at US facilities. Recently, however, a training center in San Antonio, Texas, has begun turning to a different source for future K9 units: shelters. When they’re selected by Universal K9, shelter dogs leave their pens and embark upon a very different journey in police work.
Ironically, the shelter dogs rescued by Universal are often dogs that nobody wants to adopt. They’re high-energy animals with significant amounts of spirit: certainly a handful for most households. Undesirable as those qualities might be in a pet, however, they are ideal for K9 work.
Instead of euthanasia, high energy animals go to Universal K9’s eight-week course, during which they’re trained in explosive and drug detection, scent tracking and more. When fully trained, the dogs get delivered to police departments for free. They’re matched with police handlers and go home with their chosen officers every night. In essence, they get their “forever homes” via police families.
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Once such dog, Remi, found her calling after being picked up on the streets. A mixed-breed dog, Remi was about 3-years old when she got into the Universal K9 training class. After successfully completing training, Remi went home with Corporal Wesley Keeling of the South Dallas’ Midlothian Police Department. The two began working happily together at the beginning of 2015.
During the first six months of 2015, Univeral K9 rescued, rehabilitated and trained approximately 60 dogs, before re-homing them with local police departments. Stories like Remi’s prove that even the most boisterous rescue dogs thrive in the right environments. Read this story to find out more about how shelter dogs receive help from the most unlikely quarters.
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