Carol Skaziak founded Throw Away Dogs, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit, in 2014 after witnessing a high disregard for dogs in her community. The organization saves shelter dogs with a high drive to play and trains them to work for the police.

The goal is to give neglected dogs another chance while also helping police departments save money. K-9 dogs are often bought from breeders, with many coming from Europe. Each dog costs around $5,000 to $10,000. However, those trained in the Throw Away Dogs program are available for free.


Nine dogs that have been rescued have gone on to work with the police since the program began. One of those amazing dogs was a German Shepherd named Sonji. For Sonji, the process wasn’t at all smooth sailing. She failed on her first evaluation.


Skaziak stated that after evaluating Sonji for five minutes, she felt the dog wasn’t a good fit. She lacked focus and had no desire to play. Skaziak had been working with her for a long time, hoping she would show promise. It broke her heart to have to walk away and leave Sonji behind.

Skaziak came back a month later to look at another dog. To her surprise, volunteers approached her to ask if she wanted to give Sonji another chance. And she was beyond glad that she did. It seemed as if Sonji had transformed into a completely different dog. Sonji easily passed the evaluation. Her ball drive, hunt drive, and prey drive were all off the charts.

To get dogs like Sonji in top condition, the program employs police officers who assist with training, dog selection, and the K-9 police application process. Skaziak believes that a rescue dog possesses the same characteristics as an imported dog. She has witnessed it and plans to continue proving it.

Credit: Throw Away Dogs Project via Facebook


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