STONE RIDGE, N.Y. — Friday’s going to be a big day for Kiah; it’s graduation day from K9 training school. The 60 pound, intelligent, athletic, and affectionate, Pit Bull will be a canine officer for the Poughkeepsie Police Department.
Kiah is one of few Pit Bulls selected for the job. She will serve as an ambassador for Pit Bulls everywhere, as she most certainly proves the negative stereotypes that shroud the breed are both unreasonable and discriminatory.
Kiah’s past, is unfortunately, an all too common story; her former owner was arrested for animal cruelty, and she ended up in a Texas shelter waiting for someone to give her a forever home. Hit in the head with a hammer, a blow that left her with a horrific gash, the abuse she suffered didn’t break Kiah’s spirit. Described as great with children and other dogs, Kiah sat in the shelter, waiting for someone to see the dog that she could be.
Brad Croft, who specializes in training police dogs at his Universal K9 facility in San Antonio, saw that something special in Kiah and rescued her from a most uncertain future. The dogs he teaches are all rescues. He works with them, giving them all the tools they need to graduate to be great police dogs.
Common dog breeds employed by the police are German Shepherds, Blood Hounds, Beagles and Retrievers. It’s refreshing to see more Pit Bulls joining forces across the country. This breed is too often painted with a negative brush. Kiah’s athleticism, enthusiasm, keen senses and intelligence make her a perfect police dog. Her partner, Officer Justin Bruzgul says he “couldn’t ask for a better partner.” The pair will work together on missing persons and drug detection cases, and they can’t wait to get started.