From stray to K-9: Shelter dog becomes newest member of police department

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Maggie, the newest member of the Owego Police Department in New York, isn’t your typical K-9, according to her partner, Officer Andrew Pike. Unlike most police dogs, who come from overseas and cost upwards of $10,000, Maggie was a stray. 

The pitbull-malinois mix was adopted from a shelter and returned twice. Her high energy level might have made her a tough fit with a family — but she’s perfect for police work.

“There’s no better partner,” said Pike.

K9 Officer Maggie
Officer Andrew Pike is seen with his K-9 partner Maggie.  OWEGO POLICE DEPARTMENT

She came to Owego thanks to the Southern Tier Police Canine Association, which finds shelter dogs, trains them, and places them for free.

“We’re matching up with departments who can’t afford to have a dog on their own,” Sergeant Rick McCulskey, president of the Southern Tier Police Canine Association, explained. 

Pike said Maggie is a policeman’s best friend. When Pike was asked if he’s going to want to work with a human partner someday, he replied, “Probably not after this. I mean, it’s going to take a pretty special human to replace her.”

K9 Officer Maggie
K-9 Officer Maggie  OWEGO POLICE DEPARTMENT

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