PFLUGERVILLE, Texas – A dog surrendered by her owners has a new leash on life as a police narcotics K-9 officer.

Coco, a 2-year-old pit bull, was waiting for her forever home at the Pflugerville Animal Shelter. The shelter said they never gave up on Coco and sent her to a dog training program.

Starmark Academy partners with the shelter for free to train dogs for three months to become certified. The animals are taught advanced obedience, scent detection and agility.

While Coco has completed her training at Universal K9, her journey is not over yet. She has now found a forever home with Commerce ISD as their first K-9 narcotics dog.

Law enforcement commonly utilizes programs like this to train K-9s as a cheaper option. It usually costs agencies between $15,000 and $20,000 to purchase a trained dog.

Coco is the second dog to become a K-9 officer from the Pflugerville Shelter this year.

“There is value in shelter dogs,” said Pflugerville Animal Shelter Director Rhonda McLendon, “and these former Pflugerville shelter dogs are making the world a safer place.”