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Therapy dog to comfort Charlottetown police and victims of crimes



CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Charlottetown Police Companies has welcomed its first skilled remedy canine to the power.

Captain, a nine-month-old golden retriever, will work on the division to help officers’ psychological well being. His duties will develop as his coaching progresses to incorporate spending time comforting victims who come into the police station and supporting witnesses testifying in courtroom.

At a media availability at police headquarters on Kirkwood Drive Might 11, the well-behaved latest member of the staff appeared glad to make buddies with everybody – his tail wagging always. And whereas he couldn’t reply any questions, he sat quietly – and sometimes stretched out for a nap – whereas his human co-workers took turns explaining how he got here to Charlottetown and why he’s wanted.

Particular mission

It’s commonplace for a police division to make use of a canine in its division, however Captain, who was bred by Goldens with a Mission in Yarmouth, N.S., and donated by Canine Remedy for First Responders (CTFR) in New Brunswick, has a particular mission.

“As an alternative of a standard canine officer that’s out catching dangerous guys and serving to cops, this canine helps our first responders and their psychological well being,’’ stated police chief Brad MacConnell.

Tracey Ryan based CTFR in 2019 following the August 2018 capturing deaths of Fredericton cops Robert Costello and Sara Burns within the New Brunswick capital.

“By that grief and … watching the Fredericton officers grieve, my buddies grieve,’’ Ryan stated, when requested why she began the canine service. “I needed to do one thing optimistic and tangible. I made a promise the day of the regimental funeral on the civic centre in Fredericton (Aitken College Centre) that one thing good will come from this, and right here we’re 4 years later.’’

Family and friends of the slain officers, together with a number of canine breeders, got here collectively to develop a facility canine program devoted to first responders to assist and help with their psychological well being inside the office.

Captain is the primary canine the New Brunswick non-profit has donated to a P.E.I. group. There are a selection of different canines working round Atlantic Canada. MacConnell stated the division turned conscious of the New Brunswick program when CTFR was launched and adopted it because the years glided by.

Const. Robert Schnarr, the dog handler for Charlottetown Police Services, takes Captain for a walk on May 11. The nine-month-old golden retriever has joined the department as a therapy dog for first responders. Dave Stewart/SaltWire
Const. Robert Schnarr, the canine handler for Charlottetown Police Companies, takes Captain for a stroll on Might 11. The nine-month-old golden retriever has joined the division as a remedy canine for first responders. Dave Stewart/SaltWire

Captain’s handler

Const. Robert Schnarr, the forensic identification officer with Charlottetown Police Companies, is Captain’s handler. Schnarr stated he volunteered for the job for a number of causes, together with he knew Costello and needed to see the officer’s legacy proceed.

“I did my on-the-job coaching with him,’’ Schnarr stated. “He appeared like a extremely nice man. I (additionally) like giving again to the group (and) I like canines. I have already got a golden (retriever).’’

Captain will work with Schnarr and stay with him. At this level, Captain received’t accompany Schnarr on calls and will likely be left at Charlottetown Police Companies.

“He’ll be capable of go all through the (constructing) and sit with folks in the event that they need to be comforted,’’ Schnarr stated. “Ultimately, as soon as we end with the coaching, he will likely be utilized by three different backup handlers. (Detective) Tara Watts in main crime will be capable of take Captain to the household interviews or may also help in a sexual assault (sufferer). On the finish of his coaching, he’ll be capable of go to courtroom and help with victims or youngsters that will must testify.’’

Ryan and her canine breeders have particular necessities earlier than coaching a canine for this job.

“It’s vital they’re a relaxed canine, that they’re effectively bred, that we all know their historical past, what their dad and mom are like,’’ Ryan stated. “Captain was a superb coaching pet. The temperament has loads to do with it.’’

Captain, the new therapy dog with Charlottetown Police Services, spent some time with SaltWire reporter Dave Stewart on May 11. - Drew Bloksberg/SaltWire
Captain, the brand new remedy canine with Charlottetown Police Companies, spent a while with SaltWire reporter Dave Stewart on Might 11. – Drew Bloksberg/SaltWire

She emphasizes canines like Captain should not pets – they’re extremely skilled animals.

Ryan added that Captain has confirmed to be a fast research, noting that the nine-month-old canine can consolation individuals who have a psychological dysfunction.

“Captain already is aware of what is named deep compression remedy. He’ll place his legs and physique throughout somebody who’s in misery and use his personal physique weight and his personal warmth to carry consolation to somebody. It’s identified that strain on somebody relieves your blood strain and brings your pulse down. He’ll consolation them.’’

Ryan is aware of Captain will serve the officers and public effectively in each case.

“If these canines,’’ she stated, referring to the canines skilled by the group, “can carry some levity to their roles, then it’s a win-win.’’

Canine remedy

Following is data on a number of the methods Captain will likely be used:

• He has been skilled to sense when somebody wants him and can work with every individual he interacts with to offer consolation, together with youngsters.

• He will likely be partaking in group outreach packages, akin to visiting colleges and nursing houses.

• Captain has already begun alerting to – or figuring out – individuals who have an elevated degree of stress or anxiousness.

Dave Stewart is the well being reporter for SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. He may be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @DveStewart

Charlottetown Police Services Chief Brad MacConnell, right, makes a donation from the department to Tracey Ryan, founder of Canine Therapy for First Responders, at the department headquarters on Kirkwood Drive. With them is Const. Robert Schnarr, left, dog handler for the department, and Captain, the nine-month-old golden retriever who now serves as the canine the dog for members of the department. - Drew Bloksberg/SaltWire
Charlottetown Police Companies Chief Brad MacConnell, proper, makes a donation from the division to Tracey Ryan, founding father of Canine Remedy for First Responders, on the division headquarters on Kirkwood Drive. With them is Const. Robert Schnarr, left, canine handler for the division, and Captain, the nine-month-old golden retriever who now serves because the canine the canine for members of the division. – Drew Bloksberg/SaltWire

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