There are many dogs that support humans in a working capacity, including dogs that work alongside the police. These dogs can have various roles, such as searching for missing people, sniffing out weapons, and detecting drugs. For all these roles the dogs are trained thoroughly before they become a K9 officer. Once they are working with the police force, the dogs often need to ease into their role and gain a little experience. However, that wasn’t the case for K9 Dodger. According to I Heart Dogs, K9 Dodger proved he was the perfect fit for his new role within hours of joining the police department. His training was all worthwhile and he made a major drug bust on his very first day.
K9 Dodger joined the Spur Police Department on the morning of March 2, 2020, after completing his training. On his first day in the job, he was taken along on a major drug bust, and it was he who was responsible for discovering 14.3 grams of methamphetamine. In the past, Dodger had been a shelter pup. He was then lucky enough to get selected to become a detection dog as part of a special program. This program is a partnership between Sector K9 and Animal Farm Foundation’s Detection Dog Grant Program. This program is unusual because it does not select the dogs according to their breed. Usually, it is purebred dogs that are chosen for the roles, and there is a hefty price tag of around $20,000 for each of these dogs. Instead, the dogs are selected by the program for their personality traits.
Although it is the experts at Sector K9 that train the dogs, the program is facilitated by grants from the Animal Farm Foundation. This foundation awards the grants to Sector K9 so that can train the dogs to detect weapons, explosives, and drugs. When the dogs have been fully trained and have graduated from the program, the dogs are given to police departments and schools at no cost. Since the program began, they have given more than 70 dogs to schools and police departments across the United States. Dodger is the perfect example of how the program prioritizes personality traits over the breed. They look at the dogs as individuals, and they do not think that dogs should get categorized simply due to their breed.
In Dodger’s case, they did not think that he should get defined by his physical traits, which are that of a Pit Bull-type dog. They were more interested in his personality traits as he is an intelligent and energetic dog that is eager to learn. These traits were ideal for him to train and serve as a weapons and drug detection dog. The police officers who will become each of the dogs’ personal handlers also take part in the training program alongside the dogs. In Dodger’s case, his handler is Officer Eric Keaton. The pair trained together as one of seven teams that were taking part in the detection dog training program in Ferris, TX, at the same time. Ass seven teams graduated together on February 28.
Dodger had no problems with the training, and he had breezed through the course. During this time, he also developed a strong bond with his handler, Officer Keaton. After they had graduated, Dodger and Keaton were required to take part in a sniff test to demonstrate their skills to Spur Police Chief Robert Garcia. NBC affiliate KBCD News says that the duo then took part in a special swearing-in ceremony before officially beginning their work with the police department together. Just seven hours after joining the police department, Dodger got his first hit. While walking along the 500 Block of Calvert Avenue Spur in Texas with Officer Keaton and other police officers, K9 Dodger indicated that he had detected a suspicious scent, so the officers followed him to an abandoned camper.
The officers had probable cause to enter the camper, and K9 Dodger then led them to a wooden box. When the officers investigated the contents of the box, they found a clear plastic bag that contained a white crystal substance. Further investigation into the contents of the bag revealed that it was 14.3 grams of methamphetamine. Although Spur Police are continuing to investigate the case, there are currently no suspects or pending charges relating to the discovery of drugs in the camper. However, the drugs bust has proved that K9 Dodger is worthy of his role in the police department. It has also proved that the Animal Farm Foundation is right to treat the digs as individuals and concentrate on their personality traits rather than their breed, as K9 Dodger is clearly ideal for the job.
The foundation states that they will not discriminate based on the breed of a dog and make assumptions or stereotypes about that breed. They also have no prejudice regarding a dog’s past or physical appearance. They do not judge a book by its cover, and they simply select the dogs based on the evidence of their personality traits and skills. As the foundation takes the dogs from shelters, it also helps to give a dog in need a purpose in life and a loving home. Some of the dogs have difficulty finding a forever home due to their breed, but the foundation overlooks this. Not only do the dogs chosen to take part in the program receive training for a working role, but they are also given a home as the dogs live with their handlers. K9 Dodger’s work means that he also has the potential to become a social media celebrity as his handler has set him up with an Instagram account. Following this account is a great way to learn more about Dodger’s adventures and about the invaluable role he is playing in the Spur Police Department.