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HomeNewsWilliams LakeCanine Comfort: Victim Services Introduces Crisis Response & Therapy Dog Puppy

Canine Comfort: Victim Services Introduces Crisis Response & Therapy Dog Puppy

The Williams Lake RCMP Victim Services introduced its’ Crisis Response and Therapy Dog named Puppy who since September of last year has been providing support to members of the community.

Case Worker Cheryl Jacques says she believes that Puppy has added a lot to their program that provides support to all victims of crime.

“That could be victims that are dealing with domestic abuse, victims that are dealing with break and enter, sudden death as well-we deal with a lot of families that are grieving over the sudden death of a family member,” she says.

“There are some people that really connect with animals in their own personal lives. So to be able to connect with an animal when they are here with at the office or going through the court system has just been amazing for them. We’ve gotten great feedback.”

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“Puppy could be involved in any service that we provide as long as the client is open to it. It’s never forced.”

Jacques adds Puppy is also providing support to members of the RCMP detachment.

“Because they’re frontline emergency service workers they are in contact with a lot of stressful situations and they come into our office just to pet Puppy and to hang out with Puppy.”

Puppy with his handler Kristina Moller also often go to the Skyline program and have been able to bridge that with other programs in the community.

“It’s very daunting for anyone to be a victim of a crime but to be a youth or a child is extremely difficult,” says Jacques.

“So often we use coloring or other aspects like that, but if they’re not scared of dogs it lowers their stress level immediately. It’s really daunting to come and talk to a stranger who’s an adult about really sensitive issues. To have Puppy there really escalates their stress.”

Puppy is currently working with Moller on his 3rd level of training through the Caring K9 Institute out of Prince George and after having completed his 4th level will be certified to go in the courtroom.

Moller who is also a Case Worker with Victim Services says that Puppy was born at her and her husband Mike’s property at the Gang Ranch and that they had originally planned on training him to be a cow dog and give him to a family out west.

Those plans, however, did not fall through as the family said that he was not a good fit for them.

“When this opportunity came up for the therapy dog program Mike was just like why don’t you use Puppy,” says Moller.

“Sure enough he’s been awesome.”

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