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.