KIAH. FROM A STRAY TO A POLICE DOG.
Please share this story with anyone who is prejudiced against my favorite dog, the pit bull.
And for any humans reading this story who might be down on their luck, read the story for inspiration. Kiah has moved up in the world. So can you. Be as determined as the pit bull, the most determined dog I’ve ever seen.
From stray to officer: battered S.A. pit bull now award-winning narcotics K-9 in New York
The dog who was once abandoned, battered and bloodied on San Antonio-area streets will receive a New York City honor on Thursday for being the first pit bull police dog in the state after she was relocated there last year.
In January 2015, Kiah was found alone and marked with injuries the Kirby Animal Shelter believed came from a hammer. A good Samaritan took her to the shelter, where she was recruited by Brad Croft, owner of Universal K-9, for training in San Antonio after she made a full recovery, according to San Antonio Express-News archives.
Croft found Kiah was initially hard to train, but a fast learner and “didn’t seem to hold a grudge” despite the mistreatment she had previously sustained, according to CBS News.
Eight weeks later, Kiah was a dog with a job and ready to work. The Poughkeepsie Police Department recruited the once-abandoned dog to become a narcotics and missing persons detection K-9 alongside Officer Justin Bruzgul, according to CBS.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) will honor Kiah with the society’s Public Service Award in New York City on Nov. 17 for being the first pit bull police dog in the state, according to a news release.
“These awards recognize not just the heroism of particular animals, individuals, and organizations, but the incredible bond between people and their animals,” said ASPCA president and CEO Matt Bershadker in the online statement. “That connection between people and pets is so strong that when you commit to helping one, you’re almost certainly helping the other.”
Along with her regular duties, Kiah and Officer Bruzgul visit schools and conferences, spreading the importance of animal shelters.
“Kiah is also an ambassador for ‘pit bull’ dogs nationwide, demonstrating that rescued ‘pit bull’ dogs can perform the same law enforcement work traditionally reserved for other breeds, and that any dog can have amazing underlying potential,” ASPCA said.
Croft has since placed 20 pit bulls in U.S. police departments after training Kiah, who his one of he best he has worked with and said “got it” from the beginning.
“She’s already working like a veteran dog,” he told the San Antonio Express-News last year. “That’s all that’s on this dog’s mind.