From The Shelter To The Community – Kara Is Colorado’s First Pit Bull K-9 Unit

Kara, a pit bull mix, recently began working as a narcotics detection and tracking K9 for the Colorado Mounted Rangers. Kara’s job is a big deal – she is the first canine unit for the statewide law enforcement agency and she is the type of dog which is banned in many areas of Colorado.

Kara wasn’t obtained from a specialized breeding operation – she was rescued from a Texas animal shelter. Kara’s natural ball-drive, and her personable, friendly demeanor, made her an ideal candidate for law enforcement work.

Two agencies worked together to make Kara’s working K9 career possible. Universal K-9, a dog rescue and training agency based in Texas, put Kara through her specialized training exercises and the New York-based agency, Animal Farm Foundation, Inc., provided funding.

Kara works side-by-side with handler Dawn Havens, who also received her handler training and certification through Universal K-9. Havens, who owns a pit bull mix herself, is hopeful that Kara’s friendly personality will help change misconceptions about pit bulls and hopefully, put an end to BSL (breed specific legislation) – she told Westword:

“I know she’ll make a big difference in what people think, because they’re some of the sweetest dogs out there. People need to open their eyes instead of just watching the way they make them seem on the news.”

The Animal Farm Foundation echoed Havens’ sentiment:

Many locations in Colorado, like Denver, have BSL. We hope K9 Kara‘s dedication to keeping communities safe will help end BSL across the state.

Recently, other pit bulls, rescued from animal shelters, have taken up working K9 duties – dogs like Leonard, the first pit bull to work in law enforcement in Ohio, and Storm, a rescued pit bull mix who is now working for the Ferris ISD Police Department in Texas.

It is a trend that fans of pit bulls can’t get enough of.

Find Universal K9 on Facebook here.

Find the Animal Farm Foundation on Facebook here.

Colorado Mountain Rangers at this link.

Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.