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HomeLocal NewsColoradoFormer Denver Sheriff's Department K-9 saved from euthanasia finds a new home

Former Denver Sheriff’s Department K-9 saved from euthanasia finds a new home

DENVER — A former Denver Sheriff’s Department K-9 that was slated to be put down has found a new home.

Last month, Denver7 Investigates received a tip that K-9 Riggs was going to be euthanized. Riggs, a Belgian Malinois, was certified in November 2023 to serve in the department’s explosive and narcotics division. He was one of five dogs in the unit, according to the department’s website.

Sheriff Elias Diggins told Denver7 Investigates Riggs displayed behavior issues such as growling and snapping with his handler’s family, which was going to cut his time in the K-9 unit short.

The sheriff said after learning about the issue, the department believed the best choice was to euthanize Riggs.

“We’ve since rethought that,” Diggins said. “When we got the call that your team was looking into this… I said, ‘Let’s look at this differently.’ And I made the decision to move in a different direction. … We appreciate all of the folks that were concerned with the path that we were going down.”

Denver7 | Investigates

Denver Sheriff’s Department dog in K-9 unit saved from euthanasia

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“From what I can tell, I don’t think this dog warranted euthanasia,” said Clover Street, Riggs’ new owner and an expert in dog training.

Street said his training experience began as a vet tech in the US Army.

“For me, I was a little shocked because the story was very different than the story I was given,” Street said. “Especially after my assessment of him, too.”

Street believes the concerned citizen who called Denver7 Investigates saved Riggs’s life.

“I think the power of the public definitely helped out here. Whoever made that call definitely played a pivotal role in keeping this dog alive and giving me a new partner,” Street said. “I think I got very lucky with this because now I have a really good dog.”

Riggs will be trained to use his skills for obedience competitions. If you want to follow along on their journey, he’s started an Instagram account: @k9riggs_and_me.



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