Shelter dogs come in as “owner surrenders” but they are now paying it forward by showing there is always a second chance.
Arrow, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois mix, was saved from the shelter by a special human friend who noticed the courage and talent he possessed and helped him transition from a long-term shelter pup to the furriest new member of the Pennsylvania police force.
During his time at the Burlington County Animal Shelter near Philadelphia after his owner surrendered him, animal shelter attendant Debbie Bucci saw Arrow’s potential. According to Bucci, “The brains of Malinois, in particular, are continuous, and when they are locked in kennels they go crazy.” In light of this, Bucci began working with Arrow every time she could.
She worked with him to find Arrow a forever home while the shelter searched for him. An adoption post posted to a social media network as a last resort last summer brought luck-until several months passed without any success. Connor is the founder and chief financial officer of the Rescue 22 Foundation, an organization that provides trained service dogs to our nation’s wounded veterans.
Connor tells the newspaper, “I could see Arrow having no place as a service dog.” After evaluating Arrow, Connor says, “I realized that many of the more challenging behaviors are exactly what we need to develop in a police dog.”
The Philadelphia Police K-9 Training Unit took Arrow in last September after Connor, and the Rescue 22 Foundation temporarily adopted him. As the owner of Arrow and a partner on the Lower Southampton Township Police Department, Kyle Heasley became a member of the force. They train together and take turns working the beat.
We now have a police dog, and everybody in the community is very happy about it,” Heasley tells The Times. ” . Department employees are also delighted. He’s been an excellent addition.”
Heasley describes Arrow as “just like a family dog when we go home” in addition to his glowing performance review. Sheasley reports that Arrow knows when to transition from work to home mode, as he is both a patrol dog and a drug-scent dog. Arrow sure has a way of balancing work and life.
Bucci says the Burlington County Animal Shelter will target “better assessment of dogs and their needs.” That should result in fewer failed adoptions going forward.