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Shelter dog becomes Fort Worth police K-9 officer

<i>KTVT via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Rock was once a shelter dog but has become a Fort Worth police K-9 officer.
Lawrence, Nakia
KTVT via CNN Newsource
Rock was once a shelter dog but has become a Fort Worth police K-9 officer.

By Dawn White

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    FORT WORTH, Texas (KTVT) — Getting a police dog from overseas can be expensive, but the Fort Worth Police Department saved a lot of taxpayer money and saved a life by rescuing from the city’s shelter.

The story of Fort Worth’s latest K-9 begins in the halls of Fort Worth Animal Control’s Chuck & Brenda Silcox Animal Care & Adoption Center.

“I asked them, ‘Do you have any high-energy dogs?’ Just kind of as a joke,” Fort Worth officer Kristopher Thompson said.

Thompson said “Rock” quickly passed the test to go from shelter dog to K-9 narcotics officer.

“It’s been very valuable in our fight against the fentanyl crisis,” Thompson said. “He can alert to heroin, methamphetamine, crack cocaine, powder cocaine, and marijuana.”

Rock’s handler, Fort Worth Police Sgt. Charles Hubbard, said the 18-month-old German Shepherd has already helped with several arrests.

“He’ll support any units, such as narcotics and gangs,” Hubbard said. “We have the ability to go in and out of the airport, down on the tarmac, and go to the luggage. We also might work the parcel distribution facilities, such a DHL or UPS.”

Most K-9s cost about $11,000, but that wasn’t the case with Rock.

“Because he was from Fort Worth and already in the Fort Worth system, he was free to us,” Thompson said.

Rock isn’t the first and shouldn’t be the last shelter rescue dogs for Fort Worth police. The unit has six K9s, and three of them are shelter rescues.

“Many people don’t realize there are high-quality dogs that have been given up on or are abandoned in these shelters,” Hubbard said.

“We’re always going to look at shelters first because we think there’s so many good dogs at shelters,” Thompson said. “I was just floored when I walked into our shelter and saw the number of Siberian Huskies, purebred Boxer dogs, beautiful German Shepherd puppies.”

The four-legged officer has a true rags to riches tale, as he gets a second lease on life while helping to keep the community safe.

“I’ve got to think that Rock thinks he’s won the lottery,” Thompson said.

Rock also has a sister that the department rescued. She’s going to work in a local school district.

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