Colo. gets 1st pit bull drug K-9

Kara’s handler, Dawn Havens, said she sees Kara’s assignment as a way to demonstrate that pit bulls shouldn’t be feared


By PoliceOne Staff

PARKER, Colo. — A pit bull is making history as the first pit bull K-9 in the state of Colorado. 

Kara will help the Colorado Mounted Rangers with narcotics detection and tracking and finding missing people, KUSA reported. 

Handler Dawn Havens said she hopes Kara’s position will demonstrate that pit bulls shouldn’t be feared. 

“She is actually the first pit bull in Colorado to be a working K-9 officer,” Havens said. “They're known to be extremely loyal animals, and extremely protective of people. She's not at all mean. She's not aggressive towards anybody. I've never seen any aggression towards anybody.”

After Kara was rescued from a Texas shelter, she received training from Universal K-9 Operations Director Brad Croft, who also trained New York’s first pit bull K-9 Kiah. She was paid for with funding from an advocacy group.

"Those dogs are the high, high drive dogs like Kara,” Croft said. “They get looked over in adoption events because people see all that energy and are like 'Whoa, that's too much for me.’ But these dogs work really well for our program because we take that energy and focus it and use it for positive things."

Havens told Westword that she knows Kara will make the department proud. 

"I know she'll make a big difference in what people think, because they're some of the sweetest dogs out there,” she said. “People need to open their eyes instead of just watching the way they make them seem on the news."


Kara and handler Dawn Havens. (Photo/Karen Hoglund Photography)

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