Feel Good Friday: Onslow County shelter dog gets second chance at life, becomes K-9 officer

Feel Good Friday

NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, N.C. (WNCT) — Sometimes life gives you second chances. That’s the case for K-9 Officer Krypto, a former Onslow County Shelter dog with a story of hope.

“At the time, my Lieutenant-in-Chief had approved of a new K-9 position and we were looking for a new dog,” said Officer Anthony Sampogna with the North Topsail Beach Police Department. “I immediately met Krypto and was like ‘man, this is the dog’.” 

The North Topsail Beach Police Department was recently on the market for a new K-9 officer, but this search was far from usual.

The Onslow County Animal Shelter, with the help of Camp Mutt, a professional dog obedience program, notified the department of a dog they had in mind.

“To me, it’s super rare, especially in the K-9 field because a lot of these dogs come from reputable breeders, long lineages of dogs that the department will find,” said Sampogna. “We are a small department so there is a limited budget and we kind of just fell into it.”

When Sampogna first met his partner, she was trembling in the corner and lacked confidence, but he immediately knew she was the one.

“Her behavior when I first met her, she was terrified. You know, she was curled up in the corner and very nervous and shaking,” Sampogna said. “I said, well you know, I can work with that because my wife and I rescue dogs, and we kind of know what it takes to be patient and rehab dogs.”

So, the two got right to work. Sampogna adopted Krypto and began training her on scent detection for narcotics, as well as human scent and article tracking, all while integrating her into his home with his family.

“She goes everywhere with me and then we go to work. When I start getting ready for work she absolutely starts losing it,” said Sampogna. “Her transformation for her personality and her confidence, it’s hard to describe, but it’s a complete 180 from when I first got her until now.” 

The duo, now inseparable, are thriving in the work environment, proving that sometimes all you need is a second chance.

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