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NYC’s Toughest K9 Was Once a Shelter Dog

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Wheeler, one of New York City’s toughest, most successful canine crime fighter didn’t always have such a lucrative career.

In 2003, the German Shepherd was found wandering the streets of Brooklyn, eventually ending up in the city’s dog shelter. Starving and in very bad health, Wheeler would likely have been put to sleep, if not for the help of Liz Keller of the Glen Wild Animal Rescue. Liz rescued Wheeler from certain death and brought him upstate to her rehabilitation and training center.

After 20-weeks of intense training with the New York State police canine division, Wheeler was ready to join the force.

Since his time working alongside New York State Trooper Michael Boburka, Wheeler has proven himself to be one of NYC’s top police dogs succeeding in his new role as narcotics and cadaver detection dog.

Petside reported:

He has helped to locate six missing bodies and dozens of drug stashes across multiple states since his involvement in the New York State Police force.

Wheeler isn’t the only NYC K9 with such a story. In fact, 24 of New York City’s 73 canine crime fighters are rescue dogs.

Big, big kudos go out to Glen Wild Animal Rescue and the New York City Police Department for seeing in these amazing dogs what others didn’t. Rescuing a dog from a life behind bars and giving him a life with meaning, where he can shine and give back… it’s a beautiful thing.

Do you know of any former rescue dogs that have gone on to live amazing lives? Tell us your stories!

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  1. Avatar Of Gene Larson

    Gene Larson


    Has anyone else noticed that Animal Planet used to have lots of stories like this on the air daily. Now it is mostly a bunch of reality-type shows featuring animals that no one would ever want as pets. I think we need a Pet Planet network and stories like this should be a staple of it.

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