When she graduates Friday from K-9 training school, Kiah will be one of just a few pit bulls to serve as a police dog. It's a job usually given to breeds that don't come with the pit bull's reputation — deserved or not — as a savage animal fit only for the company of criminals, reports the Associated Press.
"The breed isn't important," said Brad Croft, who trains dogs for law enforcement and the military and found Kiah in a Texas animal shelter after her previous owner was arrested for animal cruelty. "It's what's inside of the dog that's important."
German shepherds and Belgian Malinois are most commonly employed as police and military dogs, trained to chase and detain suspects or find drugs, cadavers and missing people. Beagles, collies, retrievers and bloodhounds are also used. Pit bull police dogs are almost unheard of.
Kiah (pronounced KY'-uh) will be a sniffer for the Poughkeepsie (NY) Police Department, used to detect drugs and track missing people. She's also a goodwill ambassador, for her breed and for the police.
"She wants to work," said Kiah's handler, Officer Justin Bruzgul. "She's high-energy. Affectionate. I couldn't ask for a better partner."