Shelter Dog Becomes Colorado's First Pit Bull K9

For canines starting life as a shelter dog usually means they are lucky to find a home. Usually, in such instances, the shelter pet is adopted by a loving family and lives out the remainder of their days in a loving home far from their previous life. One Texas shelter dog, a pit bull named Kara, has risen above her previous life to become the first of her kind in the state of Colorado.  

From shelter dog to K9 police officer


It all began when she gave birth to eight puppies at the Canyon Lake Animal Shelter Society. Workers there felt that the new mother had the potential for something better and so contacted Universal K-9. The company took Kara and trained her to be a police dog, with their efforts funded by the Animal Farm Foundation, which works exclusively to ensure that pit bulls across the U.S. are treated fairly.


After being trained, Kara went to work at her new job. She was partnered with Officer Dawn Havens with the Colorado Mounted Rangers, and began her life as a narcotics detection dog. But Kara is more than just a narcotics detection dog.


“She is actually the first pit bull in Colorado to be a working K9 officer,” Havens, an 11-year law enforcement veteran and volunteer told 9 News.

Dispelling pit bull stereotypes

The stereotypes about the pit bull breed run deep. As a matter of fact, in some of the cities where Kara works, the legislation wouldn’t allow her to live. Fortunately, Kara is working hard to defy those stereotypes. And, along with more than 30 other dogs across the U.S, is working to eliminate such discrimination.

When speaking to the stereotype about the pit bull breed, Havens responded, “They’re known to be extremely loyal animals, and extremely protective of people. She’s not at all mean. She’s not aggressive towards anybody. I’ve never seen any aggression towards anybody.”

“Those dogs are the high, high drive dogs like Kara,” Croft told 9 News. “And, you know, they get looked over in adoption events because people see all that energy and are like ‘Whoa, that’s too much for me.’ But these dogs work really well for our program because we take that energy and focus it and use it for positive things.”

The cost of pit bull k9 training

One thing that might add to the appeal of a pit bull over other breeds as a K9 police officer is cost. Animal Farm Foundation, the very foundation that sponsored Kara, sponsors the training of other pit bulls as K9 officers. The pit bulls are then placed with police departments across the country free of charge. 



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