Against all odds, an Ohio pit bull rose from the underdog to the hero! The pup, dubbed Leonard, was in line for euthanasia due to his aggressive nature and therefore not suitable for adoption. However, one of the Marysville shelter workers, Humane Society Director Jim Alloway, saw the potential in the dog, and he is now to become the first ever pit bull to become a K9 officer!
Leonard has been granted a second chance.
Alloway has a background working with police dogs, and thought Leonard had a great potential for law enforcement.
“I walked out with a squegee. He ran up and bit it and then he went running through the yard. I knew it was a special characteristic. He wasn’t being aggressive. He wanted to play,” said Alloway.
He contacted Storm Dog K9 Training, and while staff was unsure of what to expect because they’d never trained a pit bull, they started working with him. Leonard had no training and knew no commands, but they quickly discovered he loved to play! So, they were able to train him to sniff out the odors of drugs, and then get rewarded with a toy.
“He has quite the work ethic, ” Krishea Osborne, Storm Dog’s Director of Training for Law Enforcement, said. ” He’s got so much play and drive and hunt that he’s a great police dog. He’s constantly wanting to work.”
Leonard was partnered with Terry Mitchell, the Chief of Police in Clay Township near Toledo. Mitchell admitted he wasn’t too sure about a pit bull at first, but said he and Leonard bonded immediately.
“I scheduled a time to come down and see him, and after about 10 minutes, I knew this was the dog for us,” Mitchell said.
So, with the help of using a toy as a treat, and several weeks of hard work, Leonard is now fully trained and will get his certification from the state of Ohio. But it is still some play for Leonard.
“After home, when he’s off duty, he’s a big lap dog,” Chief Mitchell said.
Chief Mitchell said, “Now he’s our bud,” he continued, “Everyone on the department loves him. It’s been nothing but good.”
Such a nice, heartwarming story. Pit bulls are simply a misinterpreted breed. They are wonderful, loving dogs if you raise them right.