(CNN) – After a dog’s owner abandoned her, the Denver Sheriff Department took her in and treated her as one of their own. Now, the 2-year-old Belgian Malinois named Karma is thriving as an explosives detection dog alongside her partner Deputy Patrick Hynes.
A rough start
Last November, a couple kids playing at a park saw a car pull up and let a dog out before driving off.
Karma roamed outside for six days before people in the neighborhood finally coaxed her inside. There was an impending winter storm and everyone who wanted to save Karma kept their garages open in the hopes that she’d enter one, Hynes said.
When Karma was finally captured, “she had worn all her paws down to where they were bleeding,” Hynes told CNN, adding that the dog was underweight and skittish.
The mother and son who found Karma took her to the vet, who contacted the president of the Front Range Explosives Detection Group about a potential placement for the Belgian Malinois. The breed is known for their high energy and making good working dogs.
The timing worked out for Hynes, whose K-9 partner, a chocolate lab named Taylor, was set to retire after seven years on the force.
Now she’s sniffing out explosives
Hynes was delighted when his previous partner and personal dog, who both live with him, seemed to get along with Karma at home. Shortly after, Karma started her police dog training.
Karma finished her training in April and was certified by the National Police Canine Association at the beginning of May. Now, she’s just waiting for the sheriff to formally swear her in.
“We’ve already got her title and badge,” Hynes said. “She started working at the beginning of May.”
Hynes and Karma are assigned to the City and Council Building in Denver, where the mayor’s and judges’ officers are located.
“We hang out there all day and make sure nobody brings explosive devices and make sure the buildings are safe,” Hynes said.
The duo also assists other jurisdictions if they have explosive call outs or active shooter call outs.
She’s the exact opposite of his retired partner
Hynes said his new partner is a bit standoffish right now, which is understandable given what she has gone through, but she is full of energy.
“If this didn’t work out — as sucky as this sounds — I probably would not have been able to keep her,” Hynes said. “If she did not have a job, she would’ve destroyed my house.”
Karma is definitely a career woman.
“She gets all excited when I start putting on my uniform and then she gets in my car,” Hynes said.
By Michelle Lou, CNN
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