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Apollo the pit bull gets second chance at life, as a Tukwila drug-sniffing K-9

TUKWILA, Wash. -- It’s been said, every dog has its day. That’s true for one lucky dog -- out of the pound and on the Tukwila police force.

“He was in a shelter and he was about to be put down because of high energy, just a handful essentially, and the shelter called a trainer and said we have this dog, I think he might be good for you guys," Tukwila police officer Victor Masters said Wednesday.

That turned out to be Apollo’s second chance.

After running him through some drills, trainers realized he had what it takes to become a K-9 officer. And over the course of a year, Apollo caught the eye of several police departments. But because he’s a pit bull, many were hesitant to take a chance on him.

“Normally a German shepherd is the standard go-to dog. They are bred to be police dogs; pit bulls, not so much. They get the bad rap and people just want to avoid them,” Masters said.

The Tukwila Police Department just happened to be looking for a narcotics K-9 and Apollo did finish top in his class.

“Chief said, 'You know what, we only hire the best officers; let's hire the best K-9.' And she said this K-9 is the best canine I have, he will finish top in the class,” Masters said.

On Wednesday, Apollo made his first public appearance during “Coffee with a Cop” in Southcenter Mall.

From orphan to officer, K-9 Apollo didn’t just “get his day”. He got his second chance at life.

“He’s not an attack dog. He’s not a patrol dog; doesn’t track people, nothing like that. He’s just here to find narcotics and, essentially, (he is) one of the happiest dogs we have ever seen,” Masters said.