While Culpeper Police Department Officer Matt Satterfield was searching for his first K-9 partner, he tested his personal pet Skyla on a whim.
Three-year-old Skyla, an adopted pitbull, proved to have an aptitude for narcotics detection, so the duo went to handler school and became certified as a narcotics detection team by the American Society of Canine Trainers.
Skyla is the department’s second rescue K-9, joining Juno, who works the patrol division after having previously been scheduled for euthanasia.
Police Chief Chris Jenkins said in a news release that the department deliberately searched for a rescue dog to fill the position.
“Just because a dog doesn’t come from a specific breed or lineage is no reason to assume that they wouldn’t excel as part of a K-9 team,” Jenkins said.
He added that it is a pleasant surprise that Skyla is “a first in several ways.” She is a groundbreaking officer for the department, being its first K-9 assigned to the investigations division and the inaugural female dog and pitbull.
Upon clocking out of work, Skyla lives with Satterfield and her sister Piper, who is also a pit bull mix.