Rescued pit bull gets second chance as K-9 officer

REEDS SPRING, Mo. (KY3) -- A police dog in Missouri isn't the typical K-9 officer. Gina is one of only two police dogs in the state that is part pit bull.

The Reeds Spring police chief and the dog have become the perfect pair. Gina knows her job and she does it well.

Chief Tracy West said Gina is trained to sniff out drugs and track scents.

"Since I got her, we've used her on car stops. I've used her in a house for the county. She's found what she's supposed to find," West said.

The chief said while her crime-fighting skills are impressive, it's Gina's breed and background that steals the story.

"Pit bulls and unwanted dogs can do the same job that police departments are paying, you know, tens of thousands of dollars worth," West said.

Gina is part pit bull and part boxer. Both breeds that are not typically trained for police work.

"Any dog that has the drive can do this job," West said.

The 2-year-old dog was rescued in New York state.

"He honestly didn't think he was going to make it," West said.

A non-profit group that trains unwanted dogs to be K-9 officers, Universal K-9, took Gina in and helped find her purpose.

"A pit bull has to have a job. If you leave them tied up or penned up and not give them any attention then you're going to get a dog that's bored and gets a little eager," West said.

Chief West said it wasn't Gina's breed that earned her the badge, but her brains and bravery.

"Pit bulls aren't, you know, what everybody wants to stereotype them to be. They are useful. They are a good dog in the right hands," West said.

Gina cost the Reeds Spring Police Department absolutely nothing. They just had to pay for the trip to Texas for the chief to train with her. She's been on the force for about six months.

Read the original version of this article at ky3.com.