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From Homeless to Hero: How a Rejected Shelter Pup Became a NY Police Dog

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Many working dogs are born and bred for the job, training their whole lives for the heroic tasks they take on. But, one very special Owego, New York shelter dog spent a lot of time at rock bottom before working her way to the top.


For the first few years of her life, Maggie, a Pit Bull/Belgian Malionois mix was homeless. Found on the streets where she lived as a stray, Maggie was placed for adoption with a family that put her into a boarding facility and never returned to pick her up.

After being returned to the shelter, she was adopted by another family that eventually returned her.

At 3-years old and after two failed adoptions, Maggie’s future seemed bleak. That was until the Southern Tier K-9 Association heard about the high-energy dog being moved from shelter to shelter and thought she might have what it takes to be a hero.

“They went and evaluated her and thought she had what it took to be a police K-9. So they took her trained her for a few months and passed her on to me,” said Andrew Pike, police officer and K-9 handler at the Owego Police Department.

Her high drive, boundless energy, and gentle demeanor make Maggie a great candidate for specialized police work. Southern Tier K-9 Association trained her in narcotics detection and tracking work. Though she’s still in training and not quite ready to strap on her Police Dog harness just yet, her handler, officer Pike is working with her every day to strengthen their bond and get her ready for the job.

“It’s great and I think the bond is already there. I mean she’s already, she’ll be laying down and I make a little movement and she’s like ‘Alright, are we going to do something? Lets go.’ She’s just very loving towards me and very affectionate. The bond is there already and it happened quick,” Pike told WENY.

Most importantly of all, Maggie has found a forever home and a loving family with Officer Pike who says the 3-year old future hero is his best friend as well as his on-the-job partner.

And, Maggie is well on her way to becoming a celebrity in her own right, with her very own Facebook and Instagram pages for fans who want to follow her journey from homeless to hero.

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