When Leonard came to The Union County Humane Society he was deemed “aggressive” and they knew the pit bull’s demeanor would prevent them being able to adopt him out. So, poor Leonard was scheduled for euthanization.
However, Humane Society Director Jim Alloway saw some potential in Leonard and envisioned a brand new future for him.
“I walked out with a squeegee,” Alloway told ABC 6. “He ran up and bit it and then he went running through the yard. I knew it was a special characteristic. He wasn’t being aggressive. He wanted to play.”
Alloway had seen similar characteristics before in other police dogs that he’s worked with and felt that Leonard might be suited for police work. Now Leonard is on his way to becoming the first ever pit bull K9 police officer.
Alloway reached out to Storm Dog K9 Training to see if they would work with Leonard. Even though they had never worked with a pit bull before they agreed to it.
Leonard was completely untrained and didn’t know any commands, but he did love to play so they were able to teach him how to sniff drugs and reward him with toys when he met his goal.
“He has quite the work ethic, ” Storm Dog’s Director of Training for Law Enforcement Krishea Osborne told ABC 6. ” He’s got so much play and drive and hunt that he’s a great police dog. He’s constantly wanting to work.”
Clay Township’s Chief of Police Terry Mitchell says he wasn’t sure about being partnered with a pit bull at first, but it wasn’t long before he and Leonard hit it off.
“I scheduled a time to come down and see him, and after about 10 minutes, I knew this was the dog for us,” he said.
Now that he has a few weeks of training under his belt, Leonard is ready to be certified by the state of Ohio as an official police dog. But according to Mitchell, he’s just like any other dog when he comes home after a long day of work.
“After home, when he’s off duty, he’s a big lap dog,” Mitchell said.
Leonard’s coworkers are looking forward to having him on duty as a part of their team.
“Now he’s our bud,” Chief Mitchell said. “Everyone on the department loves him. It’s been nothing but good.”
What could have been a lost life will now go on to serve and protect local citizens. Good luck Leonard and be safe out there!
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