Arrow, a rescued dog from Burlington, New Jersey, knows all about second chances. According to the Burlington County Times, the 2-year-old Belgian Malinois mix was surrendered twice to a local shelter, first for failing to befriend a fellow pet, and then for acting overprotective of his second owner’s wife.
But shelter workers could tell Arrow wasn’t a bad dog. He was just a young and energetic Belgian Malinois who struggled with life in a cage. “Their brains, especially in the Malinois, are continuous, and when they are locked in the kennel they go crazy,” one of those shelter workers, Deb Bucci, told the newspaper, recalling how she immediately saw Arrow’s potential.
After months passed without anyone expressing interest in Arrow, Bucci started posting about the unwanted dog on Facebook. Those posts attracted the attention of the Rescue 22 Foundation, a non-profit group that trains rescued dogs to provide physical and emotional support for disabled veterans.
“I knew that was very unlikely that Arrow would be a fit for a service dog,” Rescue 22’s co-founder and CFO, Angela Connor, told the Burlington County Times.
But Connor could tell Arrow had the energy, drive, and instincts become an excellent police K-9. “I came in and evaluated Arrow and decided that a lot of the behavior that most people would find challenging was actually exactly the behavior we’re looking for to develop into police work,” she said.
After completing his training, K-9 Arrow joined the Lower Southampton Police Department, just outside Philly, where officers hadn’t worked with a K-9 in years. “The last time we had a dog was the 1960s,” Police Chief Ted Krimmel told CBS3 Philly. “He is a great addition to the department.
A local police department has a new member of its force who has two legs up on bad guys — and a second chance on life. @ARobertsCBS reports. https://t.co/fqbyCJBaK8
— CBS Philly (@CBSPhilly) May 6, 2021
On top of being great for morale (because who doesn’t want to work with a dog?), Arrow will use his keen sense of smell to help human officers track drugs and suspects. “Say we have a criminal running from a scene of a crime,” Krimmel said. “We can get the dog there. The dog can usually pick up on his scent of someone who is scared.”
But nobody (other than Arrow, of course) is happier about the shelter dog’s new gig than his new partner, officer Kyle Heasley. “Arrow is with me 24/7. We’re best buds. We’re partners. We do everything together,” said Heasley, who — on top of supporting Arrow at work — has also given this long unwanted dog his own home. “It is an all-around great opportunity for everyone, for Arrow, getting a new lease on life, for the department, the community,” he said. Congratulations, K-9 Arrow!