Target: Ronald J. Spero Jr., Poughkeepsie, New York’s Police Chief
Goal: Praise employment of a pit bull to locate drugs and fight crime on a K9 unit.
The Poughkeepsie Police Department recently adopted Kiah, a rescued pit bull from Texas. The Animal Farm Foundation, a nonprofit that works to “secure equal treatment and opportunity for ‘pit bull’ dogs,” worked with the Poughkeepsie Police Department to place and train Kiah. Though abused by a previous owner, Kiah excels at bonding with her team, locating illegal drugs and finding missing people. She’s a motivated, energetic member of the K9 unit, and only one of a few pit bulls serving in police departments nationwide.
German Shepherds are the dog breed commonly associated with police work, but training a pit bull helps break down the stigmas associated with “bully breeds.” Pit bulls are often portrayed as aggressive, bloodthirsty animals, and cities across the United States have enacted bans against these dogs. A dog’s demeanor is the result of their environment. Breeds themselves play a small part in a dog’s temperament.
Poughkeepsie Police Department’s open acceptance of Kiah proves that these dogs are smart, loyal and capable of anything. Kiah is finishing her narcotics training and is on track to graduate and join the force full time by spring.
Applaud the Poughkeepsie Police Department for breaking stereotypes about pit bulls by accepting Kiah as one of their own.
Dear Police Chief Spero,
Keeping Kiah, the pit bull, on your K9 unit is affecting change within your community and across the nation.
By keeping a pit bull in your unit, you have not only rescued an animal in need but are breaking stereotypes about the pit bull breed. Rescue animals typically need special care, and you have given Kiah a new home and responsibilities that showcase her talents and loyalty. Giving her these opportunities has a tremendous impact on the depiction of pit bulls across the country and the community you serve. Pit bulls are typically a breed that are left unadopted from shelters due to assumptions made about their aggressive behavior. Kiah has demonstrated that a strong environment has more of an impact on a dog’s temperament than her genetic material.
Kiah is a testament to her breed’s capabilities and the integrity of the Poughkeepsie Police Department. You have opened the door to acceptance for pit bulls within the home and in the line of duty. Hopefully more homes and police departments open their doors to pit bulls and accept them for the loving, loyal dogs they are within safe environments.
Thank you for the work you’ve done for Kiah, your community and pit bulls across the country.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dante Alighieri