Local Stray Dog Goes From Streets to Public Service

K-9 Rock
K-9 Rock | Image by Sgt. Charles Hubbard/Fort Worth Police Department

A rescue dog has gone from living on the streets to playing a critical role in keeping them drug-free as a K-9 with the Fort Worth Police Department.

Rock, a German shepherd mix, joined the law enforcement team after he and his sister, Jade, were found wandering the city streets last summer.

The duo were taken to the Fort Worth Animal Care and Control Center, where Anastasia Ramsey, the shelter superintendent and wife of a K-9 officer with the Dallas Police Department, noticed they had the ideal traits for public service: high energy, quick to learn, and a high prey drive.

“Anastasia [Ramsey] has got a good eye,” FWPD Sgt. Charles Hubbard, Rock’s handler, told Fox News.

Convinced of their potential after watching videos taken by Ramsey, FWPD began a two-week trial with the six-month-olds. Several months later, Rock is a drug-sniffing K-9, and Jade is a school resource K-9.

Rock’s second chance not only gave him a place to call home with Hubbard, his family, and his two other dogs — one being a retired K-9 — but also a job that he appears to genuinely enjoy.

“You want a dog that’s going to want to go to work every day,” Hubbard said, per Fox News. “And I’ll tell you what, every time I get him out of the car, and even when he’s at home off duty — when he comes out of his kennel, he’s sniffing.”

This ever-sniffing nose is expected to help lead the FWPD’s K-9 interdiction unit to the seizure of considerable amounts of narcotics, with the pup having ferreted out hundreds of thousands of pills already.

As Hubbard explained, the unit is part of a Homeland Security task force run under Customs and Border Patrol.

“Besides the southern border, international shipments are where both the base opioids are coming through as well as the finished pills,” he said.

The K-9 interdiction unit performs drug checks on bulk shipments at various distribution facilities run by UPS, FedEx, and more.

“And once that hits the street and starts getting dispersed, you’re going to have mass overdoses, and then you’re behind the eight ball — you can’t catch up. So, plainly, we can’t do this job without a K-9 like him. It’s the most effective way for us to combat fentanyl, heroin, meth, cocaine, all of it,” Hubbard said.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the fentanyl crisis has been growing both nationwide and in North Texas, which local authorities have referred to as a key hub for the traffickers of drugs, guns, unlawful migrants, and more. Even with state lawmakers enhancing the criminal penalties for those peddling fentanyl, the potent synthetic opioid continues to take a toll on Texans, even those still in high school.

Dallas saw a 4.5% year-over-year increase in drug crimes last year amid its longstanding officer shortage, as reported by DX. The Dallas Police Department has been hampered by its roughly 1,000 officer deficit. A prior City analysis recommended a force of approximately 4,000 to adequately meet the needs of a city the size of Dallas. Budgeting only $654 million for DPD this year, City officials are poised to spend much less than other high-crime jurisdictions, like New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Noting that half of the six K-9s working in the intervention unit are from animal shelters, which have long been plagued by overcrowding issues, Hubbard hopes that Rock’s successful transition into public service will encourage other law enforcement agencies to consider rescue dogs.

“Maybe for someone who thinks, ‘Oh, shelter dogs — they’re not what I’m looking for. I want something that can do X, Y, and Z’ — well, shelter dogs, in most cases, can do that, too,” he said, per Fox News.

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