POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Not all heroes are two-footed, at least not in the eyes of the American Humane Society.
Kiah, the first police pit bull in New York state, has been nominated for a “Hero Dog Award,” which is given annually by the society, a national organization devoted to the welfare of children and animals.
The K-9 member of the city of Poughkeepsie’s police department was a stray when she was found injured and abandoned in a parking lot, according to herodogawards.org.
Kiah was referred to Universal K9, which trains rescued “pit bull” dogs for law enforcement duty. Money for Kiah’s training was provided by Animal Farm Foundation, a nonprofit group based in Dutchess County.
She was later placed with Poughkeepsie police Officer Justin Bruzgul, herodogawards.org said.
The brown-and-white pooch quickly became Bruzgul’s canine partner, best friend and beloved family member, the organization said.
Kiah took to training like a duck to water, herodogawards.com said.
But it was her incredible drive and winning personality that made her a pop culture sensation covered by the national press.
Now ambassador for all rescued animals, Kiah is proving pit bulls can perform police work usually reserved for pure bred dogs, such as German shepherds.
Kiah and Bruzgul share that message by performing demonstrations for school children, attending K-9 conferences and ensuring the safety of the Poughkeepsie community, the organization said.
To vote for Kiah, click here. Voting ends Wednesday, June 22.
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