Stafford Police Department has employed Kansas’ first pit bull police dog – a full-blooded, red nose pit bull named Kano with one blue eye and one brown eye.
The 55-pound puppy was named after a character from Mortal Kombat because of his unique eye color and patches, the Stafford Police Department posted on Facebook.
He is trained in locating marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and ecstasy, but Kano’s handler – Officer Mason Paden – knows that some may be a little apprehensive of a pit bull on the police force.
“I have always been ‘pro-Pit Bull’ these dogs are misunderstood… Just like people dogs are individuals too!,” he posted on Facebook. “Kano and I plan to get out there and help try to change the bad name that so many have given the Pit Bull.”
Why a pit bull?
Kano went through a training program with Universal K9, an organization that trains dogs in San Antonio. Universal K9 partnered with Animal Farm Foundation to start a single-purpose pit bull grant program, which has one purpose: to give pit bulls the single purpose of locating narcotics or explosives.
The Animal Farm Foundation works to secure equal treatment and opportunity for the breed, according to their website.
Through the grant, Universal K9 rescues pit bulls that await adoption or euthanasia in an animal shelter and train them for police work.
“Anyone who watches him work can and will see the drive this dog has, not only that but how incredible these dogs are,” the department posted on Facebook.
Universal K9 operations director Brad Croft told the Hutchinson News that they look for pit bulls between 12 to 32 months old so departments can get a longer career out of the dog.
He also said there is no reason for people to be afraid of the breed in the police force, as Kano and other trained pit bulls are not biters.
“If they were this vicious great bite dogs wouldn’t the police want them on the force?” operations director Brad Croft said. “They are no good at it. They are no good at taking people down. But I will tell you what they are damn good at, (drug) detection.”
There are now 52 Universal K9 pit bulls out on the streets, according to the Hutchinson News.
“They are there kicking butts and taking names,” Croft said. He said pit bulls usually outwork other breeds during training – as did Kano.
Work and play
Kano assisted police with a $7,500 marijuana drug bust on Monday in Great Bend, and more drug busts with Kano are expected, the Hutchinson News reported.
“Kano and I can assist surrounding agencies, inside and outside of Stafford County, whenever they request our help,” Paden wrote.
Stafford Police Chief Doug Brown told the Hutchinson News that the town has had an increase in marijuana and methamphetamine, as well as other drugs.
“One of the first things I noticed about Kano was he loves to work,” Paden posted.
Kano is living with Paden and his girlfriend, along with the couple’s five other dogs.
“Kano has a strict set of rules to follow when at home and at work,” Paden wrote. “Kano knows when he comes out it’s time to go to work.”
So, just like any other police dog, Paden said you should not come up and try to play with Kano without asking.
But that doesn’t mean Kano doesn’t like to play.
His favorite toy is an orange and blue squeaky Chuckit! ball, according to the News. They said he can barely be distracted once he has his eye on the ball.