You never know what you’re going to get when you adopt a dog from a shelter; but it’s usually worth the risk. Some of the most intelligent dogs in the world are mutts that are adopted from shelters or rescue organizations. A police department in Iowa recently found out just how amazing shelter dogs can be when they decided to put one through their K-9 training program.
No one knows where Bosco came from. He was found wandering alone in Kentucky and taken to an animal shelter in Syracuse, Indiana. Workers at the shelter began to get to know Bosco, and they could tell he wasn’t an average stray. Eventually word about Bosco spread to a K-9 trainer located in Omaha.
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The trainer had been working with the Ankeny Police Department in Iowa, and he knew they were looking for a dog that could assist in searches for missing persons. After hearing about Bosco, the trainer met with the 14-16 month old pup and decided he would be the perfect match for the police department.
“I think Bosco found us, to be really honest. The trainer tested him, just thought he was sensational for what was described by the Ankeny Police Department….He has a little lineage out of Kentucky and the southern Indiana area. He probably has tracking by nature and they saw that ability in him and trained him…”
…says Ankeny Police Chief Gary Mikulec. In September the department reached out to collect donations to fund a K-9 unit. The startup cost for the program was $70,000 and the city could only fund $50,000. The Ankeny Police Department was hoping to raise the $20,000 they’d need and ended up raising nearly $30,000.
Bosco’s job description will include searching for missing people such as lost children or Alzheimer’s patients who wander away. He will also help find suspects and perform drug detection searches. Bosco will be brought into local schools to do presentations for the students as well. It’s been more than 20 years since the Ankeny Police Department has had a K-9.
The department has outfitted a car especially for Bosco, and Officer Bret Lappin will be the dog’s handler, and he will care for Bosco at his home. The pair will be heading to Omaha in the next couple of weeks for training to prepare Bosco for work in 2016. The department says that they expect Bosco to work for them for up to 7 years.
When asked about the dog Mikulec said:
He wants to constantly work, but when he's not working he wants to be a puppy. And that can lead to some problems for us, because he's still a little naughty and needs some training. When we put him in his vehicle he knows he's on the job and he wants to work. He has a completely different personality, he's focused and it’s all business.
No one should ever underestimate the abilities of a dog. If you’re a dog lover then you already know the amazing things that they are capable of, and if you aren’t a dog person, just do a quick search online for amazing dogs and you’ll realize very quickly how remarkable they can be. Just because a dog isn’t a purebred or he has had a bit of a rough start in life, don’t count him out. It only takes a little love, patience, understanding and a whole lot of training to turn any dog’s life around.