The Tiverton Police Department in Rhode Island recently welcomed its newest member, and he’s different from your typical officer. Meet Blue, a charming 10-week-old black lab who debuted on social media in August. Blue holds a special role as the department’s very first comfort and therapy dog officer, stationed about 20 miles southeast of Providence. He officially started his duties on September 7th, and we had the chance to speak with his handler, Officer Shaun Wilson, on Monday.
Officer Wilson always wanted to be a K9 officer. However, when he realized the need for a comfort dog within the department and saw the positive impact it could have, he decided to look for a pup. Blue was picked up from Boonefield Labradors, a company specializing in breeding and training Labrador retrievers for therapy and comfort purposes. According to Wilson, this program will help strengthen the bond between law enforcement and the community they serve.
Blue isn’t the only therapy dog. Scrappy, the cat, provides comfort to officers and staff. Additionally, other departments in the region have their therapy dogs. They are Hank at the Boonefield Police Department and Brody at the Bristol Police Department.
Blue’s first day on the job was filled with excitement. He had the opportunity to meet his fellow officers, as well as members of the fire department. He visited the town hall, received a checkup at the veterinarian’s office, interacted with Tiverton High School students, attended a concert, and even stopped at Starbucks for his first “pup cup.” The pup also went for some reading at the library and enjoyed apple picking. Later, he also enjoyed his first swim.
A recent photo of Blue sitting at a computer desk captured the hearts of community members, who couldn’t help but express their admiration for the department’s newest addition on social media. People were amazed at how quickly he seemed to adapt to his duties.
When he’s not on duty, Blue enjoys being a regular pup. Officer Wilson takes him to various places to ensure he feels comfortable in any situation, including attending games and visiting nursing homes. Blue’s adventures, which you can follow online, have already touched the lives of many in Tiverton, bringing a fresh and positive energy to their small town.