Leonard, a 2-year-old pit bull, was scheduled for euthanasia at a Marysville, Ohio shelter not more than a month ago. However, a shelter worker saw so much more potential in the young pup. After contacting police, this dog that once had no hope now is the first K9 serving for the Clay Township Police Department. Leonard is also the first pit bull K9 serving in all of Ohio.
At first, Leonard was brought to the Union County Humane Society (UCHM) to find a home for him. Unfortunately, the staff at the shelter discovered that the young pit bull was not suitable for adoption – his aggressive behavior and personality deemed him unfit for a home.
According to The Blade, UCHM’s director Jim Alloway said, “He just had a very, very high prey drive or possessiveness drive… for the average home, that’s a big problem. But it’s great for law enforcement.”
Alloway, as he has a background working with police dogs, saw the potential Leonard had 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,” Alloway said to My Fox 28. “He wasn’t being aggressive. He wanted to play.”
Allows connected with Storm Dog K9 Training to see if he could spare Leonard from his scheduled euthanasia. At first, the workers were skeptical of bringing Leonard on the team – they had never trained a pit bull. However, once they started working with him, they discovered he was more than valuable.
Although Leonard had no training and wasn’t familiar with commands, they quickly found out that he loved to play. Soon, they trained him to sniff out drug odors.
“He has quite the work ethic,” said Krishea Osborne, Storm Dog’s Director of Training for Law Enforcement. “He’s got so much play and drive and hunt that he’s a great police dog. He’s constantly wanting to work.”
Terry Mitchell, the Chief of Police in Clay Township near Toledo, was soon partnered with Leonard. Although having a pit bull as a K9 seemed strange at first, the two bonded quickly over their several weeks of training together.
While Leonard certainly has a lot of hard and serious work ahead of him, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t like to play. Now, Leonard lives at Chief Mitchell’s home.
“After home, when he’s off duty, he’s a big lap dog,” Chief Mitchell said. “Now he’s our bud. Everyone on the department loves him. It’s been nothing but good.”