Wildflower trains to become a K-9 officer
Wildflower the pit bull was going to be euthanized before she was given the opportunity to serve alongside police officers in Oklahoma.
But Wildflower was wearing out her foster parents, Metro reported, so they reached out to Pennsylvania's Throw Away Dogs Project — a group that rescues and trains dogs that are then donated to police departments.
And the group took Wildflower in — but not without struggles. That was in August 2017, according to WPDE.
"In comes this energetic pit bull that was so loveable but completely off the charts with the energy. … I knew the moment that we started testing her that this was not going to work out, because she evaluated horrible," Throw Away Dogs co-founder Carol Skaziak told Metro. " … She was just not understanding the games of our training program."
But then the training clicked.
"Wildflower, from that day forward, excelled almost like no dog I've ever trained," Throw Away Dogs head trainer Bruce Meyers told Metro in March. "Two months later, Wildflower is imprinted on all core narcotics."
In a video the nonprofit organization posted in March, Wildflower can be seen doing a Narcotic Detention Search in a garage, while off lead, for the first time. This was posted six days before the pit bull was leaving the project. She graduated as a trained Narcotic Detection Dog, according to WPDE.
"Wildflower’s success was possible because of our amazing Head Trainer and Partner that never gave up on her and continued to believe in giving this breed a second chance," the organization posted on Facebook. "Thank you Bruce Myers for continuing to use your training methods to accommodate the dogs needs and making it work!"
On Wednesday, the Throw Away Dogs Project posted that Officer Wildflower is Oklahoma's first rescue pit bull K-9 police dog.
"This dog was going to be euthanized," Wetumka Police Department Chief Joe Chitwood told Metro. "All of that good was this close to being put down. But she has a lot more to give, a lot more. Hopefully, you can get some of the negativity away from the breed and show folks that it's not that way."
Wildflower is also the first pit bull that the organization has rescued, trained and donated to a police department, WPDE reported.
“There is no better example of one of the world’s most misunderstood dog breeds than the pit bull," Skaziak told the TV station. "Wildflower was a misunderstood dog with tons of energy who could not get adopted ... I had to help Wildflower succeed and prove that it could be done ... This will be done again. Stay tuned!”
Wildflower the police dog now has her own Facebook page where you can see more photos and videos of the K-9 working — and having fun.
In December, the Stafford Police Department employed Kansas' first pit bull police dog — he's named Kano, and he has one blue eye and one brown eye.
“I have always been ‘pro-Pit Bull’ these dogs are misunderstood. ... Just like people dogs are individuals too!,” Kano’s handler – Officer Mason Paden – posted on Facebook. “Kano and I plan to get out there and help try to change the bad name that so many have given the Pit Bull.”
Kano was trained through Universal K9, an organization that rescues pit bulls that await adoption or euthanasia in an animal shelter and train them for police work.