August 9, 2018 4:00pm
A pit bull with ties to an alleged dog fighting ring in Tilbury will soon be part of a K9 police unit in the U.S.
Carol Skaziak, the founder of an organization called â€śThrow Away Dogs Projectâ€ť, is taking a dog named Dallas under her care to train him to become a narcotic detection police dog.
Dallas is one of eight pups born from one of the original pit bulls seized in the alleged dog fighting ring in 2015. Some of the dogs seized were sent to a rehabilitation centre, â€śDogs Playing For Lifeâ€ť in Jacksonville, Florida. From there, 14 dogs â€” including the puppies were given to another organization called â€śPit Sistersâ€ť.
Skaziak will officially take Dallas in from â€śPit Sistersâ€ť on August 11. The two will then go to the organizationâ€™s head trainerâ€™s house in New Jersey.
â€śI am going to introduce Dallas to our family there and we will do a few training techniques,â€ť she says. â€śWeâ€™ll start working with him and start training for police work.â€ť
Skaziak expects training to take approximately two months.
â€śOur training technique for narcotic detection work â€” or any type of scent work is all positive play,â€ť she says. â€śWe just need to introduce a game to Dallas and once we introduce that game and he understands the idea, we start imprinting him on the odours that we want him to find.â€ť
Once Dallas is able to continuously detect the specified odour associated with drugs, Skaziak says they will teach him how to search a room and what to do once the target is found. After the training is complete, Dallas will then go to a police department in Honaker, Virginia.
â€śPit Sistersâ€ť has another pit bull with ties to the Tilbury dogs. His name is Munchkin.Â Skaziak says Munchkin also has potential to work in a K9 unit, however, his short legs only allow him to search smaller areas so his options are limited.
â€śHeâ€™s exactly what weâ€™re looking for, I just need to kind of mould the scenario of where I want to place him,â€ť she says. â€śBut [thatâ€™s] two dogs from the Ontario 21 and I am so thrilled.â€ť
The â€śThrow Away Dogs Projectâ€ť has been helping train dogs for five years. In that time, Skaziak says they have helped place 25 â€śmisunderstood dogsâ€ť in the U.S. Skaziak says her goal is to utilize dogs that have been rescued from abusive situations rather than see them euthanized.
As for some of the other pit bullsÂ involved in the Tilbury case, some have been rehabilitated and are ready for new homes. A Chatham judge threw out all charges in February 2018, against two men accused in the alleged dog fighting ring.