Shelter Dog Becomes Owego Police Department K9 Officer

Maggie, a pitbull-malinois mix is the newest member of the Owego Police Department
Owego Police Department

Maggie, an adorable pit bull-Malinois mix, went from homeless to hero when a police department in upstate New York brought her in to be a K9.

The newest recruit of the Owego Police department had an unusual story, according to her partner police officer Andrew Pike. “She was found as a stray on Long Island,” Pike said. 

Her story didn’t end there.

Maggie had been adopted from a shelter and returned twice. Her high energy level might have made her a tough fit with a family, but the perfect canine for police work, CBS News reported.

Maggie was a welcoming surprise to members of the Owego Police Department, particularly since police dogs can be a costly investment for a department.

”We’re matching up with departments who can't afford to have a dog on their own," Sergeant Rick McCulskey, president of the Southern Tier Police Canine Association, which finds shelter dogs, trains them, and places them for free.

Maggie found her forever home thanks to the Southern Tier Police Canine Association. Most police dogs are still coming from Europe; and the cost for the dog alone, including airfare, is $8,000 and climbing, according to The National Police Dog Foundation’s website.   

For years, American breeders have been importing quality dogs from Europe enabling them to produce the same excellence in bloodlines as in Europe. If this practice continues, the foundation said it will lessen their dependency on importing dogs from Europe.

In the meantime, Maggie’s active demeanor makes her the ideal recruit. And, as far as Pike is concerned, “Maggie is a policeman’s best friend.” "There’s no better partner,” he said.

From the looks of it, Sergeant McCulskey, agreed. “It takes a unique dog to go from being an orphan to someone going to Disneyland everyday with her partner.” 

As Maggie smiles wide as a her tail swings back and forth, the feeling seems mutual.  “Good girl mags. Good girl!” said Pike during a game of ball. 

When Pike was asked if he's going to want to work with a human partner someday, he told the news station, "Probably not after this. I mean, it's going to take a pretty special human to replace her."

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