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Rescued pitbull training in Loudon to become second arson detection K-9 pitbull in the U.S.

Zoey was picked up off the streets of New York City and brought to a shelter. After she was labeled unmanageable, a nonprofit started training her in law enforcement
Credit: Throw Away Dogs Project

LOUDON COUNTY, Tenn. — A pitbull picked up off the streets of New York City is getting another chance at life, with a nonprofit at her side.

Zoey, the pitbull, is was originally dropped off at a shelter in NYC. Workers there labeled her unmanageable and said she was not a good candidate for adoption. She was sent to a rescue in Florida called Dogs Playing for Life, where workers started working to train her.

However, she still had a lot of energy and they started looking for ways she could express it in a positive way. So, they reached out to Throw Away Dogs Project to evaluate her and see if she could be trained to be a law enforcement K-9.

The nonprofit trains dogs to be K-9 units in law enforcement, donating them to police departments across the U.S. They have donated around 41 dogs so far, according to officials. They also have a Pitbull for Police program and saved five pitbulls through the program so far.

They started working to train Zoey as the second arson detection K-9 pitbull in the U.S. She was sent to Loudon, Tennessee to be trained by Justin Rigney of K9 Services Unlimited.

When she is fully trained, Zoey will be given to a fire department in need anywhere in the U.S. with the skills to tell when a fire may have been started by arson. Her training will be worth around $15,000, according to officials.

"This is a sweet dog labeled dangerous just needing a job and an outlet for her energy," said officials with the Throw Away Dogs Project. "We all came together to prove once again that rescue dogs (especially Pitbulls) are not broken, they are just misunderstood."

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