As many know, pit bulls get a bad reputation for being an aggressive dog. But there’s a San Antonio nonprofit proving they're actually great dogs, and make even better working dogs for law enforcement.
There’s a stereotype for what a police dog looks like and it’s definitely not a pit bull. Instead, pit bulls are often stereotyped as aggressive and dangerous.
KSDK's sister station, KENS 5, got to witness the work of some pit bulls getting ready to prove they make great police K-9s. Gator is just one of six pit bulls getting ready to graduate from Universal K-9 in San Antonio. He will then officially become part of the police force in the small town of Maysville, Oklahoma.
“We’re hoping to knock down on the drug activity in the town,” Sergeant Arron April said.
It’s a similar story for Constable Richard Harris in Llano County, two hours north of San Antonio. Harris is about to hire his first deputy in Cannon Ball.
When asked what type of drugs they were seeing in Llano county, Harris said, “Methamphetamine and marijuana.”
After months of training, the dogs can now sniff out the scent of five different drugs. None of the dogs are aggressive in the least bit. They’re just ready to use their energy to fight crime.
“I think the community itself, the stigma of a pit bull, some people may be leery at first, but when they see this dog work and see me out with him and they find out he’s not aggressive, he’s not a mean dog at all. He just wants that ball,” Constable Harris said.
That ball Harris referenced is a tennis ball that Cannon Ball gets as his reward when successfully finding drugs. The graduating class of pit bulls will be going to smaller law enforcement agencies because the cost of training a pure bred can reach as high as $20,000.
Universal K-9 is a nonprofit that partners with pit bull advocacy group Animal Farm Foundation to make it all possible.
“What a dog looks like on the outside is not going to determine what a dog performs like from the inside-out,” said Animal Farm Foundation executive director Stacey Coleman.
And while the dogs will be dedicated to saving lives, their lives were also saved, since they were once shelter dogs that could’ve been put down.
“It makes you feel pretty good inside that you’re able to help a dog that had no other chance but euthanization,” Sgt. April said.