Assistance dogs will help victim services units of police in Saskatchewan
Dogs had two years of training
The victim services units for several Saskatchewan police departments will be using specially trained assistance dogs in their work.
Three Labrador retrievers, trained in B.C., have arrived after two years of training. They are known as Canine Assisted Intervention (CAI) Trauma Dogs.
- Beaumont joins the southeast Saskatchewan regional victim services teams (for police in Weyburn and Estevan).
- Kane joins the Moose Jaw Police.
- Merlot joins the Regina police.
The dogs will comfort victims and witnesses of crime and trauma, especially young people.
Laura Watamanuk, from the Pacific Assistance Dog Society, in Burnaby, said Labrador retrievers are the ideal breed to support people who have gone through something traumatic.
"They're the best dogs suited for this," Watamanuk said. "They're very calm. They have great disposition. They're widely accepted by the public.The public doesn't tend to get frightened by this breed."
The dogs may be used in a variety of settings, such as when an officer is interviewing a child victim of abuse. They may also find a role in other situations where police need a calming influence.