Florida police department hires 1st therapy dog

DAVIE, Fla.(WHDH) — A shelter dog has undergone training to join a Florida police force and help officers get through to frightened victims.

The 2-year-old Chocolate Labrador, named Rocky, is part of a program in central Florida that rescues dogs from shelters and trains them to help law enforcement. Rocky was first certified as a therapy dog, then got training from the police academy.

“I previously did investigations without Rocky and it was very difficult to sit with a 5-year-old, a 6-year-old, a 7-year-old, because they’re looking at us as adults, they don’t know us, they don’t know who we are, and for them to tell their horrific story to us has got to very stressful,” said Davie Police Detective Lisa Choquette, Rocky’s handler and owner.

In his first case, Rocky was brought in to comfort a 15-year-old who refused to talk to investigators. Choquette said Rocky helps reduce anxiety in victims and brings them comfort. He is then brought back to sit with victims through each interview with police and as they meet with attorneys.

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