Apollo the pit bull may be a big ol’ sweetheart, but it took a long time for anyone to recognize it.

For six months, the pup languished in an animal shelter without ever finding a forever home. Deemed “too energetic” to be adopted, he was eventually handed the death sentence.

One desperate shelter worker wasn’t about to let an innocent dog be euthanized – so she called a Washington State narcotics K-9 trainer and asked if Apollo could be assessed as a drug sniffing dog.

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An officer came by the shelter and ran some drills with Apollo. As it turns out, the pit bull was exceptionally talented. The officer then took charge of Apollo and brought him to one of the kennels at the Department of Corrections

The pup continued to be left in the kennel for 12 more months, as police officers usually prefer German shepherds as drug dogs. Since pit bulls are generally given a bad rep, no one wanted Apollo.

That is, until the Tukwila Police Department of Washington found themselves in need of a reliable canine.

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“We contacted the trainer last summer while searching for a K-9 and she told us about Apollo,” wrote a Tukwila police officer. “She stated that he was a high drive dog and he would finish first in narcotics school if someone would give him a chance. All he needed was a chance.”

The trainer was right – Apollo graduated from the narcotics training with flying colors. Now, he’s the beloved mascot of the Tukwila law enforcement team.

“He is extremely friendly and can often be found trying to get us to play with him. He has brought great joy to all of us at the department in addition to being a very productive and hard worker. He is now a part of his handlers personal family and the family of the Tukwila Police Department.”

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