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Old July 27th, 2010, 02:16 PM
cell cell is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Montreal, QC
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Canada's First Police Therepy dog

Delta police department's latest canine recruit is more likely to lick than growl.

The two-year-old male yellow Lab, the first police therapy dog in Canada, started six weeks of on-the-job training on July 26, said Delta police spokeswoman Sgt. Sharlene Brooks.

Adding a dog to the department's victim services team is a new approach to helping people in traumatic situations, Brooks said.

The four-legged therapist will offer support and reassurance for "excessively emotional" people, she said.

A dog's presence can help children and people with disabilities calm down and communicate, Brooks added.

The "calm and easygoing" dog will accompany the victim services team whenever it is called to events such as break and enters, assaults, serious collisions or fatalities.

But if a victim is allergic to or afraid of dogs, this member of the squad will be sent back to the office. For his own safety, the dog will not attend calls where drugs or alcohol are involved, Brooks said.

Several dogs "interviewed" for the job, but the Lab chosen had the best rapport with the handlers, Brooks said.

To see if he could deal with the job's daily stresses, the dog was exposed to police sirens, taken to the hospital and to court, and introduced to his colleagues: the other fiercer dogs on the squad.

The dog, who has undergone at least six months of advanced training, will live and work full-time with his handler Kim Gramlich, the coordinator of victim services.

The dog was raised and trained by the Pacific Assistance Dog Society (PADS), a non-profit organization based in Burnaby.

Until his transition into the workforce is complete, the dog's name and photograph will not be released, which is PADS policy.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/...#ixzz0uub6GNN1

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