Monday, November 16, 2015

Poughkeepsie's New K9

Revised: November 17, 2015; 14:45 GMT

The Poughkeepsie NY police department has a new K-9 service dog. Cities customarily pay as much as $15,000 for a fully trained K-9, but Poughkeepsie's new canine officer comes with all costs paid.

The evaluation and selection of the dog, the transportation, boarding, and lengthy training will all be paid for by an angel. What's not to like?

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For decades German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois have been the breeds of choice as police and military dogs. Other breeds such as retrievers or Border Collies are trained as bomb or narcotics sniffers, or to recover cadavers, lost children or hikers. Poughkeepsie's new officer, Kiah, will be used as a "sniffer," used to detect drugs and track missing people.

Kiah is a pit bull. George Carlson, the Ulster County sheriff's deputy who trained Kiah, said Kiah is the only pit bull police dog that he's heard of on the East Coast.

Taking Kiah from a shelter in Texas and placing her as a K9 in New York was a joint project involving Austin Pets Alive!, San Antonio-based Universal K9, and the Animal Farm Foundation. Brad Croft of Universal K9 claims he has placed "about" 10 pit bulls with law enforcement agencies around the country.1  He then adds, There are two dogs that really stand out right now, Libby with the Montgomery County, TX Constables and Ruby with the Chattahoochee Hills Police Department in Georgia.

Images provided for Libby and Ruby are informal poses with their handlers in front of police cruisers. It is not clear if these two dogs are official members of their respective law enforcement agencies, or if they are unofficial sidekicks.

It appears that Mr Croft has found a way to grow his revenue: take a pit bull from a shelter and find a police department willing to accept it, either officially or unofficially. Animal Farm Foundation generously covers all costs through its pit bull giveaway, er . . . , grant program. Mr Croft's company receives remuneration for services rendered. The appeal to cash-strapped police departments is undeniable. Have the cities and police departments considered the implications of accepting the gift of a fighting breed so that Animal Farm can raise the breed profile?

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The attempt to place pit bulls as K-9s is relatively recent but has already provided an extensive literature. In 2008 Dogsbite reported on the closure of the abortive LawDogs program, which attempted to train rescued pit bulls for police work. In September, 2014 the website DaxtonsFather compiled a catalog of service and therapy pit bulls involved in attacks.

In February 2015, blogger Dawn James published an expose on the  Craven Desires blog. The post begins by describing the collapse of several organizations attempting to place pit bulls as service dogs, including Pit Bulls 4 Patriots and Pits for Patriots, both of which closed their doors in 2012. Animal Farm Foundation not only continues to place rescued pit bulls as service dogs but has expanded their initiative with their efforts to place K-9s.

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A future post about Kiah will cover liability issues for K-9 units and the physiological reasons why pit bulls are unsuited for K-9 work.

Poughkeepsie is the county seat of Dutchess County, NY, which is also home to The Animal Farm Foundation.

Canine Companions for Independence
Pledge to Stop the Fraud

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1   Animal Farm Foundation, June 4, 2014

See Also:
K9 & Service Dog Resources

Pit bull police dog defies breed's savage stereotypes
   by David Klepper
   November 13, 2015; Associated Press

Rescued pit bulls fight stigma by guiding people in need
   by Sue Manning
   February 11, 2015; Associated Press


The Problem with Pit Bull Service Dogs
   February 12, 2015; Craven Desires

How the Americans with Disabilities Act has become the “Pit Bull Pushers Act”
   July 3, 2015; Animals 24-7

Service and Therapy Pit Bulls that turned pit bull
   September 16, 2014; Daxton's Father

LawDogsUSA, Pit Bull Detection Dog Program, Shuts Down
   November 5, 2008; Dogsbite

Statistics quoted on SRUV are from the nation's authoritative source for current dog attack statistics, the 32+ year, continuously updated Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada.
View or download the current PDF

Dog Bite Studies Index

Today's pit bull attacks
   Google News

This page may also include information from Dogsbite & Fatal Pit Bull Attacks.

SRUV uses the definition of "pit bull" as found in the Omaha Municipal Code Section 6-163. As pit bulls are increasingly crossed with exotic mastiffs, Catahoula Leopard Dogs and other breeds, the vernacular definition of "pit bull" must be made even more inclusive.

Sources cited by news media sometimes refer to "Animal Advocates" or sometimes "Experts." In many cases these words are used to refer to single-purpose pit bull advocates who have never advocated for any other breeds or species of animals. Media would be more accurate to refer to these pit bull advocates as advocates of fighting breeds.

Similarly, in many cases pit bull advocates refer to themselves as "dog lovers" or "canine advocates" and media often accepts this usage. The majority of these pit bull advocates are single-purpose advocates of fighting breeds.


1 comment:

  1. It is insanity the way pit bulls are being pushed on the public, and then...when the public is killed or mauled by them, the victim is blamed. It feels Orwellian at times.

    Anyone out there reading this and noticing it also, we need to fight with our words, with our humanity, and we need to pass laws to prevent these dogs from killing.

    We need to fight this. Write letters to the police department, work to pass legislation in your communities...go on the message boards and be a voice of safety and reason. Use your talents, artistic, verbal or otherwise to help prevent these senseless deaths.


Please do not cut and paste comments or include extensive linking. Comments are moderated but we will post all comments which do not include profanity or ad hominem attacks. Play nice. The SRUV comment section is not a forum for the advocacy of fighting breeds.