Shelter Dog Has New Gig Helping Florida Police Bust Child Predators
After her adoption in August, Gia underwent training to become an electronic detection K9
Consider this more proof that shelter dogs can do amazing things.
A pup named Gia who came into Florida’s Bishop Animal Shelter as a stray is now a member of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Cffice’s K9 unit, helping to bust child predators.
Adopted in August, Gia underwent training to become an electronic detection K9 and is now trained to find hidden computer hard drives, flash drives and SD cards that may contain child porn, according to WFLA, who reported the story. Child predators often hide these incriminating devices and now the pup that no one wanted is one of a handful of dogs in the entire world that can sniff them out.
“She’s like using a flashlight in a dark room. Because you just want that extra tool to kind of help you,” detective Joni Zimmermann told WFLA.
Because police dogs can be pricey, detectives there decided to adopt their new deputy and train her themselves (a move that also helped the overwhelming pet population in shelters).
“Why do we want to buy a dog trained already, when we can [train] it in house, save the money?” said Lt. Richie Cunningham. “They’re just like any other dog. They’ve just been abandoned in a shelter … When you’re starting to deal with just odor work, you’re using a function of the dog that all dogs have, which is the capability of smelling.”
In just a few months the dog has learned quickly and she’s already helping detectives on child porn investigations, becoming an invaluable tool for the department.
“Once they’re adopted,” added Samantha Dominis from the Bishop Animal Shelter, “they really do blossom into what they were truly meant to be.”