Awesome Stories

‘Unadoptable’ Dog Pulled from Death Row to Become Ohio’s First Pit Bull K9 Officer

This handsome pup’s name is Leonard, and he’s Ohio’s first Pit Bull K9 Officer ready to embark on a career as a narcotics detection dog!

Two-year old Leonard was brought into Ohio’s Union County Humane Society as a stray back in November. Shelter Director Jim Alloway said the dog was a “problem child” and deemed him “unadoptable,” scheduling the energetic pup for euthanasia.

As it turns out, the very traits that made him unsuitable for potential adopters made him perfect for police work.

“He exhibited very high hunt, ball, and possessiveness drives; none of which make adoption likely for a family,” the humane society wrote on Facebook.

But, the humane society’s director detected something very special in the toy-driven dog.

“I walked out with a squeegee. He ran up and bit it and then he went running through the yard. I knew it was a special characteristic. He wasn’t being aggressive. He wanted to play,” Alloway, who has an extensive background with police dogs, told WSYX.

So, the Humane Society contacted Storm Dog K-9 Training in an effort to save Leonard’s life.

Leonard is the first rescue dog from the Union County Humane Society to be sent for police narcotics-detection training, and now, fully trained and certified he’s Ohio’s first pit bull K9 officer. 

Starting tomorrow, Leonard will begin working alongside Clay Township Police Chief Terry Mitchell, with whom he also lives.

ohio's first pit bull k9 officer

Leonard is partnered with Clay Township Chief of Police Terry Mitchell (WSYX/WTTE)

Chief Mitchell has been training with Leonard for the past three weeks in addition to providing the pup a loving home. “He’s just a big lap dog,” he said. “He’ll lay on your lap and go to sleep, and he snores horribly,” Mitchell told The Blade.

Leonard, who loves people far too much to be trained to track fugitives or for police protection, will work alongside Mitchell sniffing for narcotics at Genoa Schools.



  1. Star Shelley

    May 22, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    You go Leonard. To all those people who continue to dislike Pitt Bull. There more to them than what you read. So proud.

  2. Mary Ann Runewicz

    May 22, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    What a great story! More shelters owners/managers etc. should take notice of the animals brought in to their shelters. You never know what great qualities and capabilities this animal has to offer!

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