A pit bull has joined the police force of the Chitamacha tribe reservation lands on the coast of Louisiana. It’s the first pit bull employed for police work in the state.
Officer Nick Picard and pit bull Dozer work together as part of a K-9 unit on the reservation. Dozer has helped Picard make over 30 arrests for narcotics since he joined the force in June. Dozer was adopted from a shelter, KATC reported.
“I’ve been in law enforcement for 17 years and I’ve done everything, a lot of different departments and K-9 was the only thing I hadn’t done,” Picard told News 15, in September.
Video in the News 15 report shows Dozer wearing a special uniform that identifies him as a police dog at work. His uniform also holds the badge of the department along with Dozer’s own badge. It reads “Special Officer.”
Louisiana is not the only place that pit bulls have stepped in to take the place of the kinds of dogs traditionally used in K-9 units. CBS News reported about another pit bull, also taken from a shelter, working in New York state. That dog, Kiah, works in the City of Poughkeepsie to help in searches for narcotics and missing persons. Kiah has a Facebook page with almost 3,500 likes.
In Ohio, there was a pit bull that was considered too aggressive for adoption was set to be euthanized at a shelter. But instead, the dog was sent for training, which was successful. That dog, Leonard, now lives on through police work. He has joined a local police force, ABC 6 reported.
The German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois are the more popular breeds of choice for police dogs, The Hutchinson News reported. But organizations are partnering to get pit bulls trained and ready to work with police forces, which will help police reduce the costs of running a K-9 unit. With pit bulls, departments can avoid the $13,000 cost associated with trained police dogs of other breeds.
Pit bulls are still a controversial dog. Pit bulls are responsible for most of the dog attacks that occur each year, according to stats from DogsBite.org. Pit bulls are considered the most lethal breed of dog. Although they are six percent of the total dog population, they were responsible for 71 percent of dog attacks that resulted in the death of the victim last year in the U.S.
Despite the statistics, there are organizations and people dedicated to preserving the image of pit bulls as friendly dogs, and even ideal dogs to have as pets. As “Pit Bulls Unleashed: Should They Be Banned?” explains, there are people working against legislation that targets pit bulls.
Pit bull is a designation used for a few different breeds. The American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Bully all can be identified as pit bulls, according to Today. Pit bulls come from an earlier type of dog used for attacking bulls, bears, and other large animals for sport. Once that sport was outlawed in the 1800s, the dog breed used was bred to fight other dogs for sport, creating a quicker, more athletic dog, according to the ASPCA.