Shaka and Police Officer Billy Wells. Photo from StubbyDog.
K-9 handler and Oregon policeman Billy Wells has a canine partner many would not expect - a pit bull. Shaka came to Wells' unit in the Milwaukie Police Department after a series of events changed the death-row dog's life.
Years ago, she was nearly euthanized at an overcrowded shelter in New York. She was rescued from the city pound by a pit bull advocate in New York. Her new guardian immediately recognized Shaka's work ethic and potential and decided to contact the K-9 Detection Training Unit at Washington State Patrol Academy. She was enrolled in their program and graduated with flying colors.
She went to work with the Washougal Police Department where she worked in drug detection for the next four years. Unfortunately, they had to downsize their canine unit, so Shaka was offered up for relocation. Wells' department jumped at the chance to were luckily selected. Wells, who had experience with bomb-sniffing dogs was chosen as her partner.
"I'm almost certain that if she could figure out a way to drive my patrol car, I'd be completely out of the picture," joked Wells.
Since arriving on their force, Shaka has shown an amazing aptitude as a detection dog. In her first few months, she found drugs in 18 out of the 20 times she was deployed. On her state certification exam she scored 100 percent. "She pretty much walked me through it, because she's a four-year veteran with a phenomenal nose," Wells told StubbyDog.org.
She is a real people pleaser and is easily pleased. "She's the type of dog who really wants to put her nose to it, not because she's a drug addict, but because she really likes chewing on a hydraulic rubber hose as a reward for pointing to her targets."
She also is a great family member, and when the two are off-duty Shaka goes home to live with Wells' family. Said Wells, "Shaka has a loving home and usually goes everywhere with me and my family."
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