In Colorado, it's no secret that pit bulls have been fighting a bad rap. Because of breed-specific legislation in several cities here, a lot of beautiful dogs remain in shelters for long periods of time or are euthanized, and the stigma against them grows in our state.
One dog is trying to change that-- and her name is Kara.
Kara began her journey in Texas at a no-kill shelter called Canyon Lake Animal Shelter Society, who took her in after she gave birth to eight newborn pups. Canyon Lake realized Kara's potential and contacted an organization called Universal K9, who would train Kara for future police work thanks to funding provided by Animal Farm Foundation. This is a foundation used to giving second chances to dogs just like Kara-- in fact, their main goal is to secure equal treatment for pit bulls all across the U.S.
After graduating from the narcotics detection training program, Kara joined her new partner Dawn Havens at the Colorado Mounted Rangers, and it was a match made in heaven. Dawn has 11 years of experience in law enforcement, so it was a no-brainer showing Kara the ropes.
Kara travels all over the state protecting Colorado's citizens-- and because of breed-specific legislation in those seven Colorado cities (Denver, Aurora, Castle Rock, Commerce City, Fort Lupton, Lonetree, and Louisville, according to Animal Rescue of the Rockies), there are some cities she is helping to protect where she wouldn't even be allowed to live.
Stacey Coleman, Executive Director of Animal Farm Foundation, told us that "while Denver and a few surrounding communities continue to hold on to legislation that discriminates against people with dogs who might look like her, K9 Kara is defying stereotypes. And she’s not alone, there are 30+ dogs across the U.S. working to eliminate discrimination. It’s important for us to stand behind K9 Kara and Officer Havens and showcase how she will protect and keep the community safe; and ultimately prove that all dogs are individuals and that looks do not equal behavior.”
Kara's hard work in Colorado will prove that as a pit bull, she can do anything a pure bred dog can do, and make positive strides towards changing the stigma surrounding these pups in Colorado.
Cheers to our first-ever pit bull K9 officer-- Kara, thanks for dedicating your life to our beautiful state!
All photos thanks to Karen Hoglund of Karen Hoglund Photography. You can visit her website to view more of her work here!