Tail Waggin’ Crime Stoppers

Scholarship Entrant: Tristin from Roseville, Michigan
Essay Question: If you could earn a living doing what you love most, what would it be, and how would it change the world? Describe the specific goals you would set to make that dream a reality.
Vote for Tristin: 7

On March 14, 2014 I hopped a plane from Detroit to New Orleans. Not for the desire to party on Bourbon Street, stuff myself on beignet’s and etouffee, but to volunteer at Villalobos Rescue Center. VRC is featured on Animal Planet’s Pit Bulls and Parolee’s show. It’s a well-known sanctuary for Pit Bulls and related mixed breeds that have been discarded, abused, starved to the brink of death, or left behind stemming the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I spent my time at VRC questioning my choice to pursue law enforcement rather than work with animals. Then, as I was tackled by a 100+ pound Pit Bull named Cajun, it dawned on me: I could do both! It’s my belief that law enforcement and animal welfare agencies alike would benefit by pledging an allegiance to one another. Canines are a unique tool to law enforcement: they are used to detect narcotics, currency, explosives, and search and rescue. Dogs also offer additional protection to their human counterparts. If I were in a position to make this dream a reality, I would reach out to local shelters to facilitate interagency relationships. This would include training shelter employees with K-9 handling techniques specific to law enforcement, while encouraging law enforcement officers to take a more proactive role in engaging with canine/officer partnerships. The ideals behind my ambitions aren’t that far- fetched, no pun intended. My idea provides homes for dogs, strengthens law enforcement endeavors, and lessens the overpopulation/financial burdens of animal rescue groups.

Vote for Tristin: 7

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