PBS series looks at K-9 unit in Massachusetts that uses shelter dogs

A mutt from a Massachusetts animal shelter who got a new life as a K-9 drug-detection dog stars in an upcoming episode of a new PBS series called “Shelter Me: Partners for Life.”

The Worcester County sheriff’s department in central Massachusetts turned to the shelter when there wasn’t enough money in the budget to replace its retiring tracking dogs. The department covers 60 towns, a prison and a million people. With drug overdose deaths in Massachusetts rising, including 1,200 last year, the department needed a good drug detection dog.

Sheriff Lewis G. Evangelidis sent Lt. Tom Chabot to find a shelter dog that was young, friendly, enthusiastic, smart and free.

Chabot came back with Nikita. Their story is showcased in an episode of “Shelter Me: Partners for Life” airing on PBS beginning Oct. 1 (local listings at ShelterMe.TV). A second profile on the show will look at singer Emmylou Harris and her animal rescue, Bonaparte’s Retreat.

Nikita was picked up as a stray in San Juan, Puerto Rico, when he was 3 months old and 25 pounds, and brought to the Sterling Animal Shelter in Sterling, Massachusetts, Chabot said.

“He was reaching out to me, stuck to me, screaming for us to take him,” Chabot recalled.

Full Article at US News & World Report


Shelter Me is an inspiring series that celebrates the human-animal bond with uplifting stories about shelter pets. Shelter Me was created and is produced by Steven Latham. The project also includes a website – ShelterMe.com – which enables anyone to create and share profiles of shelter pets to help increase adoptions. Shelter Me works closely with other animal welfare organizations to organize effective spay-neuter and humane education programs and helps develop and implement life-saving projects directly at animal shelters. Follow ShelterMeTV on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.