After more than seven years of research and development, Skool Dogs, Inc.— the first active threat canine response program for schools—officially deployed its first canine as a school safety dog to Cumberland County Technical Education Center, a New Jersey public high school. K-9 “Meadow” — named after Meadow Pollack, a victim in the Parkland, FL school shooting — is the first canine to graduate the K9 Academy as a school safety dog.
Canines used in the Skool Dogs program are specially trained with a proprietary patent pending system to react to the sound of gunfire. The canines are also trained to detect the odor of firearms and ammunition to help prevent a school shooting before it happens. Each K9 deployed by Skool Dogs, Inc. goes through an extensive training regimen that ensures the dog can be integrated into the school culture easily while also remaining social and friendly with children.
Having lost his daughter, Meadow Pollack, to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018, American school safety activist Andrew Pollack has shown support for the Skool Dogs program.
“Every day is February 14th,” says Pollack. “I don’t need February 14th to remind me that’s the day my daughter was murdered. Every day, I live it.”
Pollack believes the Skool Dogs program can help leaders take prompt action to improve the overall security situation in and around schools.
“Humans failed my daughter that day. These dogs will never cower,” Pollack said.
In response to the more than 600 school shootings in the U.S. in the last seven years, Skool Dogs Founder Joe Nicholas and Managing Partner Brandon Womack seek to roll out the program nationwide. Nicholas is a K9 Officer/Valor Award recipient and current director of the Atlantic County John Sonny Burke K9 Academy, while Womack is an international law enforcement trainer and CEO of Homeland Intelligence & Protective Services.