First Responders Day, presented by BP, at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ would not be complete without honoring Houston’s four-legged first responders during the action-packed K9s4COPS Hard Dog/Fast Dog Championship on Monday, March 5.
The police dogs competed for fastest hit speed and hardest bite. Rookie competitors, Officer Matt Barnette and his canine, Dexter, took home the championship title after an exhilarating run.
Like Dexter, all the police dogs showed extreme enthusiasm for their job. The fastest hit of the evening reached 34 m.p.h., proving the asset they provide the police force in protecting our communities, borders and schools.
“The dogs have taken a quarter of a billion dollars in contraband off the streets,” said Kristi Schiller, founder of K9s4COPS.
Dexter is referred to as a force multiplier, Barnette said. He can reduce the workload of the police force. For example, it would take 10 human officers to search a building, but with one dog it only takes two officers due to their refined sense of smell.
“We are evening shift partners,” Barnette said, “then he goes home with me, lives in my back yard and cuddles with my wife. He’s a big lap dog.”
Every dog that competed in the Hard Dog/Fast Dog Championship is out on the streets trying to make it a better place.
“This is the fourth year K9s4COPS has held this event at the Rodeo,” said Schiller. “Each year we get so excited to come back because of the rich history here.”