Shelters are stressful environments for dogs. Any time you have that many dogs in one place, with a high turnover rate, loud noises and strangers constantly passing by, the dogs are going to experience a significant amount of stress.
This means that many dogs in such environments don’t act like “themselves” by either reacting to or shutting down because of any one of the many stimuli present.
If you’ve been to a shelter, you’ve probably noticed this. Dogs will cower at the backs of kennels or charge at you as you pass by, and a few will wag at you — but psych, it’s not a friendly wag — and as soon as you get close they explode into frenzied barking.
Stress affects humans in many of the same ways. We tend to shut down or lash out when overwhelmed with life’s struggles, just like they do.
It takes a trained eye to see potential in dogs like this. Many dogs in shelters have behavioral issues, yes, but many of them can be fixed if you know what you’re doing.
That’s where the Throw Away Dogs Project steps in. They scour shelters for dogs that look like they would be good for specific lines of work — especially police work — then rescue them and start training.
“We are a Non-profit 501 (C) 3 Organization,” their Facebook states. “We REPURPOSE, TRAIN, and RELOCATE ‘Unique’ dogs to positively impact our Communities.”
During one of their rounds, they spotted a red and white pit bull with one floppy ear and one that stood straight up, and they saw something promising in him. They dubbed him “Jasper.”
Many pit bulls are given a death sentence as soon as they walk into a shelter, because people are hesitant to adopt them, but Throw Away Dogs Project looked past the breed and saw a spark.
He began training as a narcotics dog, and soon found a forever home (and job!) with Kennard Deputy Chief Don Crabtree in Kennard, Indiana. The Throw Away Dogs Project donated him to the cause, which was a great gift to the tiny department that didn’t have the funds to secure one otherwise.
“You’re looking at the range of $10,000 to $15,000, it could even be higher, depends on where the dog comes from,” Crabtree said about the price of police dogs during an interview with Fox News. “If it wasn’t for them, I really don’t think we would have him.”
Even though the town is small, the need for a drug-sniffing dog was great, according to Crabtree. “Heroin, cocaine, meth, and what it boils down to, unfortunately, statistics show smaller towns is where the drugs go.”
The project doesn’t charge police departments for the dogs they provide, but they do accept donations. They were given a $550 donation as a thank-you for Jasper.
Crabtree knows that the dog will be a valuable addition to their team, and he also knows that without the Throw Away Dogs Project, the dog probably wouldn’t be around. “Luckily, someone seen something in Jasper,” he said.
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