Abused and Abandoned Pit Bull Becomes New York’s First Police Dog
Photo: Facebook/CPPD K-9 Kiah

One police dog is challenging Pit Bull stereotypes by living life as a hero. Her tragic past fated her for important work as a narcotics detector, missing persons finder, and Pit Bull breed ambassador. 

Meet Kiah, New York’s first Pit Bull K9 police dog, who spends her days serving her community and changing the world’s views on her breed. According to reports, Kiah was found behind a convenience store in Texas after having been beaten over the head and abandoned there.

Kiah was then placed in a local shelter, where she was eventually picked up by Universal K9, an organization that trains dogs to do police work. Thanks to a partnership between Universal K9 and New York’s Animal Farm Foundation, Kiah made it to New York. Once there, she started work as part of the Poughkeepsie Police Department’s K9 unit as the state’s first and only Pit Bull in service.

Abused and Abandoned Pit Bull Becomes New York’s First Police Dog
Photo: Facebook/CPPD K-9 Kiah

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Her partner is Officer Justin Bruzgul, and together they work to detect narcotics and track missing people. Bruzgul speaks highly of Kiah, stating that she is intelligent, obedient, friendly, and playful. Despite her rough past, she has found a bright future with Bruzgul and the rest of the Poughkeepsie Police Department.

Kiah lives with Bruzgul, and also has 2 canine siblings as well (not police dogs). Bruzgul’s sister owns a Pit Bull, and he has expressed frustration with their stereotypes, along with a hope to help turn it all around.

Universal K9’s director of operations, Brad Croft, said that Kiah is one of the top 3 dogs he has placed. He also noted that she is among the first to stand out in his mind when thinking of the hundreds of dogs he has trained.

Kiah’s happy ending was made possible by her sad beginnings. When she made it to the Texas shelter Austin Pets Alive!, they collaborated with their partners at Universal K9 and Animal Farm Foundation to ensure that Kiah (and other dogs) made it into training in the Detection Dogs Program.

Abused and Abandoned Pit Bull Becomes New York’s First Police Dog
Photo: Facebook/CPPD K-9 Kiah

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Though this program is generally designated for specific purebred dogs, Kiah met the qualifications necessary to perform the training, including:

  • confidence
  • focus
  • curiosity
  • trainability

According to Croft, many police agencies are resistant to taking on Pit Bulls, due to unfair assumptions about the breed. Pit Bulls are working dogs who were bred to be obedient and fulfill tasks as instructed by their owners. This is what makes their stories so sad; they do exactly as they are told to please their masters, even at risk to their own safety – including fighting other dogs.

Their notoriety as fighting dogs has helped carve out their reputations as a vicious breed, but most of them are anything besides vicious. Kiah is not only working as a police dog, but as a goodwill ambassador of her breed. Her mission is to change the minds of those who think Pit Bulls are all bad, and she is doing a wonderful job at it.

Bruzgul states that she is great with children, including his nieces and nephews. In November, Kiah even won the ASPCA Public Service Award for the work she has accomplished.

Abused and Abandoned Pit Bull Becomes New York’s First Police Dog
Photo: Facebook/CPPD K-9 Kiah

Kiah’s story is one of countless pit bull tales where abuse and neglect result in nothing more than a willingness to love the next human more. Dogs, especially pitties, do not take their past out on the people around them.

They remember their experiences, but they seek only to express their love and affection for their human companions, and to do anything possible to please their masters. Sadly, not all people understand this breed.

Many Pit Bulls are euthanized every year because of society’s misinterpretation of their behavior and demeanor. Organizations like Universal K9 and Animal Farm Foundation are working tirelessly to stop the tragic outcomes of most Pit Bulls in their tracks, and turn the perception that they are vicious into the understanding that they are loyal, affectionate, emotionally intelligent, and in the case of Kiah, true lifesavers.


  1. How many times are they going to pump this story down our throats? Wonder if they will run it when the pit goes pit and kills someone.

    • Do you really think that people are not to blame? I am so sick of watching people, who are the decision makers (and the elite) in this world, excusing themselves for their horrific cruelty toward the other animals, and then holding those other animals to a higher standard of behavior than they do themselves. It is disgusting beyond the words I have to express it. A pit bull did not create himself. A blood lusting alleged human did that, and causes so much suffering to the dogs (and much more) it is beyond what I can express. And then to turn around and blame the dogs for what we have turned some of them into with our own cruelty? Wake up, or go to Hell, where you belong.

      • Yep, you said it all, thanks. One can only hope for full justice after this life, when the morally responsible (human) souls are stuck in the eternity they created for themselves. Wow, will they wish they’d listened and changed…forever.

        • But nowhere did he do anything but advocate for the dog to be “dealt with” instead of going to the root of the problem, which is PEOPLE. People were given the privilege and the responsibility here. People accepted the privilege, but not the responsibility. They’ve used, abused, tortured, every other form of life on the planet, and when one of their “productions” dares act out in the way that they have been programmed by their “masters,” the blame goes on the victim. I am SO SICK of people being so unaccountable for their actions, and suddenly declaring themselves to be the victims of what they have created. And it goes even way beyond that.

  2. “This is what makes their stories so sad; they do exactly as they are told to please their masters, even at risk to their own safety – including fighting other dogs.”

    The pit bull in Florida who wouldn’t stop mauling his owners over a sweater must have missed this memo.

    • Since you are on a child level, let me tell you in a childrens story: “Once upon a time, there were some very mean dogs. No angelic people had any involvement in making those evil dogs who they were. The mean dogs forced the innocent, kind hearted people to witness them fighting each other in a pit. The mean dogs starved themselves, beat themselves, kept themselves and each other on chains, and inbred themselves because they wanted to kill each other and THEN blame the innocent people for it. Oh, the poor, innocent people, being blamed for such a crime. And then, do you know what these bad dogs did? They went on to blame the innocent people for torturing animals in laboratories, knowing it was their fault, being the ones who were most intelligent and the ones who had the answers to it all. Then they blamed the saintly people for the horrors in the slaughterhouses, deforestation, killing everything in the oceans, and so much more.

      • Yes, you hate people, i get it. No need to go on a bizarre rant about it.

        But it still doesn’t change the fact that the statement I quoted is obviously false.

        • No, being immersed in your own self-importance, having been born into a the ruling elite of species, and thinking that no matter what atrocities we subject the other species to, we are still just poor, simpering, weak victims of them. Oh, how tragic for you.

  3. Ain’t it just GREAT? For decades, German shepherds were the victims of choice by K9 units everywhere, then joined by Dutch shepherds, Belgian Malinois, the occasional Rottweiler, and now pit bulls. This torture emanated from the military, and I know, from working in “law enforcement” that the consciousness is VERY LOW there. The torture these dogs receive by their disgusting handlers is horrific. The low lifes involved in K9 torture are no different than the ones involved in pit bull fighting. In fact, in my years spent in a “law enforcement agency” I found out they were very often one and the same.

    • I’ve always found it weird how society can both call dogs basically furry children, and also support using them for police/military work.

      It’s not like the dogs volunteer to put their lives at risk like human officers. They’re incapable of understanding the danger they are in.

      • Then, you DO get it, at least to that point. Beyond that point, the dogs are not just putting their lives at risk. I worked in “law enforcement,” and am here to tell you that what I experienced has been intentional infliction of torture on these dogs by their handlers. They joked, laughed, and bragged about it while I was employed there. For a person of humane heart and mind, it takes great strength to stand up against them, and they made attempts on my life, too, for speaking out against their joyful sadism.


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