TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - The Pima County Sheriff's Department is the first law enforcement organization in the U.S. to have a registered therapy dog, Officer Luke, working in a corrections facility.
Officer Luke received his registration earlier this month and is the second therapy dog for PCSD.
For the last 10 months both Officer Luke and his handler Corrections Officer Dickinson have been training with Jeremy Brown of The Complete Canine in preparation for the Canine Good Citizen and Pet Partners Therapy Dog test. According to PCSD, it is held in high regard when a therapy registration is granted from Pet Partners as their program represents the best the field of animal-assisted interventions has to offer.
With this registration, Officer Luke will be utilized in a proactive approach to inmate contact through rounds in the housing units and assisting inmates in times of crisis. This method has proven to reduce stress among inmate populations which leads to reduction of suicides, violence, and assaults. When these reductions occur it provides a cohesive balance for the corrections officers, thus a less stressful work day. The benefit of employee wellness and enrichment has improved with the addition of the Therapy Canine Program.
For more information and questions on the Therapy Dog Program please email firstname.lastname@example.org.