Police Departments Needed Cheaper K9s, So They Started Adopting Pit Bulls

Diply 19 Oct 2016

Is it just me or are pit bulls always in and out of the news cycle?

Back in 2016, the mayor of Montreal, Quebec banned pit bulls! This was in response to the death of 55-year-old Christiane Vadnais, who was mauled by a pit bull in her back yard. However, further examination into how appropriate the ban was uncovered no scientific consensus that restrictions on breeding dangerous dogs can occur on a breed-by-breed basis. Therefore, that ban has been lifted for the time being and dog owners in Montreal can still legally buy the breed.

Point being, these loveable, yet sometimes menacing pups love to make headline news.

This week, pit bulls are in the news for all the right reasons.

Do you know how much an average police dog costs?

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According to The Independent, the average cost can range between $10,000 to $15,000 for a German Shepherd or a Belgian Malinois.

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That's expensive!

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And police departments, some of whom are facing budget restrictions, are starting to feel the pinch. So what's the solution?

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It's not a small question, but The Animal Farm Foundation, along with Austin Pets Alive! and Universal K9 think they can answer it.

Facebook | Protect Pit Bulls from BSL

And it concerns a breed of dog that has been both continually been picked on and vilified in the media over the years and tends to cost less than your average shepherd.

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Pit bulls!

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"Police Departments are finally getting it," explained Protect Pit Bulls from BSL.

"Instead of spending $10,000 to $15,000 for a trained Belgian or GSD, they are now taking pit bulls from shelters and training them, and they are proving themselves to be amazing police and military K9s."

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Pit bulls are a strong and obedient breed. But there's a stigma.

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Despite being an excellent potential police K9 breed, pit bulls are often looked over because of the unfair bias as them being breeds of uncontrollable rage.

This is a stigma Protect Pit Bulls from BSL wants to end. "BSL" stands for "breed-specific legislation" that notoriously picks on pit bulls and other strong breeds of dogs.

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So these three organizations are getting police departments to adopt pit bulls so they don't have to be euthanized.

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"Any dog that has the drive, confidence, and desire to work can do it! Breed does not dictate a dog’s ability to work," explained Universal K9 founder Brad Croft.

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Evidently, many police departments are starting to agree as they've already begun adopting pit bulls as their K9 of choice.

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As The Independent reported, these include the Washougal Police Department in Washington, the Chattahoochee Hills department in Georgia, and the Poughkeepsie Police Department in New York, which have all brought on pit bulls.

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Pit bulls are the most common shelter breed.

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As Esquire magazine reported back in 2014, about 1.2 million dogs were euthanized each year in American shelters. Of that number, an estimated 800,000 to 1 million of them were pit bulls.

This translated to between 2,000 and 3,000 pit bulls being euthanized each day.

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But they're cursed by a simple name.

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A study from Arizona State University showed that in a shelter where breed labels were eliminated, the adoption rate for pit bulls went up, their euthanasia rate went down 12% and their length of stay at the shelter was reduced.

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As far as their capabilities? They can be trained to do all the same things as shepherds.

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"Universal K9 trains dogs for narcotics, explosives, cadaver, and arson detection. We also train dogs to track for criminal apprehension and have trained dogs for vapor detection as well," said Brad Croft of Universal K9.

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And, for the record, breed has nothing to do with ability.

Little Things | Little Things

And dog experts know this.

"Any dog that has the drive, confidence, and desire to work can do it! Breed does not dictate a dog’s ability to work. I personally have a mutt – I have no idea what breed mix she is – but she is the best working dog I have ever come across! She can find narcotics and track people better than any 'typical' police dog I’ve ever seen."

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Are you a fan of pit bulls?

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Tell us about a pit bull in your life, post pictures, and let us know what you think about this initiative to get pit bulls into the police force!

h/t: The Independent

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