Adopting a pit bull as the newest K9 squad member, North Carolina Clay County police department is doing their part to end the ignorance. Rescuing the animals dubbed “vicious” and “dangerous” from a life in an 8 x 8 crate, the boys in blue are changing the future for our four-legged friends.
As the newest rookies of Clay County PD, K-9 Sarah and K-9 Phantom began their official police training. They were lucky enough to escape a future behind bars, or worse, euthanasia, thanks to the Animal Farm.
The New York-based non-profit dedicated to finding forever homes for unwanted animals kindly funded a grant for Sarah and Phantom’s new career in law enforcement.
That’s when Clay County PD made an official statement via Facebook. Posting the following message, the boys in blue spoke out against persecution facing the poor pups. Needless to say, their touching words, melted hearts around the country.
“K-9 Phantom and K-9 Sarah’s new partners, Deputy Chris Harper and Investigator Heath Woodard, recently attended a Handlers course in Midlothian, Texas, to bond with and train their new K-9 partners, as well as learn the ins and outs of narcotics detection with their new furry four-legged partners.
They trained with 8 other Law Enforcement Officers from Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana, searching buildings, cars, packages, big rigs, and even airplanes.
The course was hosted by the Midlothian Police Department and was instructed by Midlothian PD K-9 Handler and Trainer Wes Keeling. Both Deputy Harper and his new K-9 Sarah and Investigator Woodard and his new K-9 Phantom have been certified by both Universal K9 and American Working Dog Association in the detection of Marijuana, Heroin, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, and MDMA also known as Ecstasy.
What will be the most shocking to some will not be that Clay County Sheriff’s has the new K-9 Deputies, but rather their breed, K-9 Sarah is a Pitbull and K-9 Phantom a Pitbull-Boston Terrier Mix.
K-9 Phantom was rescued from a shelter in Texas and K-9 Sarah was rescued from a shelter in New York where she had spent a year looking for homes before they found a new life as Police K-9s.
Brad Croft of Universal K9 and Stacey Coleman of Animal Farm Foundation are trying to show the world that even though Pitbulls get a bad rap in the media, they aren’t all bad dogs and can do great things for the communities they serve.
K-9 Storm, who was in the class with Phantom and Sarah, was set to be euthanized if she had not been rescued the day before her euthanasia date and given a 2nd chance at her new life being a narcotics detection dog.
She now proudly serves the Red Oak Independent School District in Red Oak, Texas with her new partner, School Resource Officer John Julin.
Both Phantom and Sarah are only single purpose dogs, meaning they are only trained in narcotics detection.
They are not and never will be trained in criminal apprehension or bite work.
No Pitbull/Pitbull mixes granted by Animal Farm Foundation and Universal K9 will ever be trained in bite work or criminal apprehension.
They want to show the country and the world the loving and caring nature that most of us have experienced with our Pitbull’s and show that the pound puppies have what it takes to go up against and sometimes exceed their expensive pure-breed cousins.
Some will wonder what the cost to the county for the new K-9s and equipment is, as any concerned tax payer should.
The K-9s themselves were free, and the training was free all provided by grants from Animal Farm Foundation and Universal K9.
The hotel, per diem, collars, leashes, harnesses, food, crates and other K-9 expenses were paid for by drug-seizure money.
The only money coming out of the Sheriff’s Office Budget was fuel for the vehicle that was driven to Midlothian Texas and the pay for the 2 Deputies that attended the training.
So instead of paying $30-$40,000 dollars that would have been typical with most departments the Sheriff’s Office spent a fraction of that.
Also, both Sarah and Phantom are roughly one and a half to two years old so they will have many years to serve Clay County and its residents, sniffing out illegal drugs on our streets.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office would like to express their great gratitude to Animal Farm Foundation and Universal K9.
Had it not been for their great work both Sarah and Phantom may still be looking for their forever homes.
The Sheriff’s Office would also like to thank Chief Carl Smith of Midlothian Police Department for opening his department and allowing such a great program and training to be carried out at their department.
The Sheriff’s Office, along with Deputy Harper and Investigator Woodard, would like to personally thank K-9 Handler and Trainer Wes Keeling for taking many many hours away from his family and his work to ensure that the Officers in his class received the best training available.”
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