Spokane Police K9 unit trains adoptable dogs - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane Police K9 unit trains adoptable dogs

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Spokane Police are launching a new program, but it's not exactly to take criminals off the streets. It's more like taking dogs out of shelters.

Over at the Spokane Police K9 Training Academy, K9 Unit Sergeant Jason Reynolds isn't teaching commands like "chase" or "take down." Instead, the K9 unit is partnering with SCRAPS to work on obedience with dogs who need a little help.

"While we're at work anyways we're going to put a little extra training into them, to make them a little more adoptable," Sgt. Reynolds explained.

The first dog he's working with is Hershey, and it's pretty clear why.

KHQ's Claire Graham spotlighted him last week during a Promo's Picks segment, and Hershey was as rowdy as can be.    

As a 1-year-old lab mix, he's naturally a high energy pup. But now, after less than a week of training with Sgt. Reynolds, Hershey's almost a different dog.

"So far we've been working on a lot of control," Reynolds said. "When I first got him, he just wanted to pull like a freight train and try to pull away. Now, he's pretty in control with going for a walk. We've also worked on sitting, laying down, staying."

He's the first of hopefully many dogs who will be a better pet because someone took the time to help.

A little bonus is that he's also getting some agility training on the structures in the training yard. It doubles as a chance to see how he might handle high heights if his future family wants to take him hiking or something along those lines -- and he's doing great.

Throughout the training program, the dogs will be living with Sgt. Reynolds. He's actually volunteering as a foster parent with SCRAPS, which is a big time commitment, but he says it just makes sense.

"We work with dogs every single day," Reynolds said. "We have a little more expertise than most people in that, so if we can help the community out by getting some dogs trained up a little better to get adopted, then we'll be helping."

Reynolds says he hopes to be able to train between two and four dogs a month.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Hershey is back at SCRAPS, where he's up for adoption and eagerly awaiting a new home.

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