Animals

Raise Your Right Paw and Repeat After Me: Police Dogs Sworn-In

These three canine officers are "firsts" on the city of Pittsburgh force.


An unusual swearing-in ceremony Monday on Pittsburgh's North Shore near the city's Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Unusual not only because these new police officers are of the four-legged variety, but also because they're the first city K-9s trained in their particular tasks.

"Their jobs are very serious and incredibly valuable," said Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich as he and mayor Bill Peduto welcomed the dogs to the force.

  • Cappy is a bloodhound , handled by Kevin Merkel. He's trained in searching for at risk children and adults who go missing.
  • Dodger is a black labrador retriever who became the city's first accelerant detection dog and is handled by Detective Mike Burns. They'll be part of a joint police/fire department Fire Investigative Unit.
  • Zane is a golden retriever trained as a comfort dog who will work with his handler Victoria Butch to provide comfort to first responders and victims of violent crime.

Zane and Cappy get acquainted.

Mayor Peduto praised the trainers. "Thank you for your professionalism in training them to be critical parts of our public safety bureaus."

(Images: Pittsburgh Police Facebook page )

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