There's nothing like seeing a police dog that can do an amazing job.
Now, mind you, it's not a role for every sort of dog. It's not like poodles or even "wiener dogs" could cut it. Instead, it's a role usually reserved for German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Bloodhounds, Dutch Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers. Now, there could be exceptions depending on the roles needed, but these breeds are the most efficient at doing their work.
What purpose does a police dog serve? More than you might think.
Of course, the first thing you might think of is sniffing out drugs. And it's true, these dogs certainly have the skills for it, able to sniff out something suspicious in a package or even follow a trail if necessary.
But their role is more significant than that. Police dogs can also aid officers in their time of need. They can run very quickly when some officers can't, catching up to subjects and subduing them by biting them and bringing them to the ground, keeping them incapacitated until an arresting officer can assist.
In addition, there are also police dogs that can perform search-and-rescue. Along with being able to track suspects based on their scent, they can also find those in need, such as lost children or someone in need of rescue during a catastrophe or event of some kind.
I believe police dogs deserve a great deal more respect than some people give them. They're incredibly good partners when it comes to keeping their fellow (human) officers safe, while at the same time also using their training to take care of a suspect when called upon.
Boy, did one do that earlier this week with Danilo Cavalcante. The suspect, convicted last month of murdering his girlfriend, ended up in a Pennsylvania jail where he would make an escape, created a dangerous situation in the area. Law enforcement launched a huge manhunt in an effort to find him.
But leave it to a police dog, Yoda, to land the final bite before officers were finally able to take him into custody.
Cavalcante was first discovered earlier this week, when an aircraft flying over the search area managed to make out a heat signal on the ground. There was a storm taking place, so the tactical team of officers had no choice but to wait it out.
Officers managed to find him the next day, and he attempted to flee through thick underbrush, carrying a rifle in his hand.
Though the officers temporarily lost him, one of the police dogs didn't. Yoda managed to track Cavalcante through the brush, biting him to the point that he was incapacitated and unable to use the rifle. The dog kept its bite in until fellow officers were able to make the arrest.
Now, rest assured, Cavalcante was not an easy arrest. Officers noted that the killer acted "defiant" and was "still resisting arrest" at the time of his capture. But the police dog was able to do his job; and, as a result, the suspect is now set to go to a higher-security prison to serve out his life sentence.
"When the dog got to him, he then went flat with the dog on him – the dog was able to detain him there," noted Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens in a statement. "I was told the rifle was within arm's length."
So there you have it. This awesome police dog was able to stop and detain the suspect without any bullets flying; and even through his defiance, Yoda hung on until his fellow officers could back him up.
I'm so happy for this story. I hope that dog got some extra snacks for his work (some meat bones would do the trick), and I hope it serves as a lesson for others to consider – police dogs are a vital part of the team, and they deserve just as much love and respect as their human counterparts.
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