In Colorado, victims and witnesses who might, for various reasons, have trouble sharing details of a crime with a police officer now have another option — Pella, a Labrador-golden retriever mix who is both kid-friendly and judgment-free.
Pella began her service with the Aurora Police Department this summer, and while she doesn’t track down criminals, the hope is she can help put them behind bars.
Her main role is to work with children and developmentally-disabled adults during the beginnings of investigations, providing some comfort and emotional support when they are interviewed by authorities.
“It’s hard for anyone regardless of their state in life, their age, their background, their ethnicity … to talk to police. It’s just an uncomfortable situation. Pella can just help that anxiety to lessen a bit,” Amber Urban, who’s behind the program, told 9 News in Denver.
Urban was working as a school-resource officer when she started pondering how dogs — outside of tracking suspects and detecting drugs — could help the legal system.
Through Paws Assisting the Legal System, she brought Pella to the Aurora Police Department to work with its Crimes Against Children Unit.
The program is similar to the Courthouse Dogs program that is already in place in other cities.
Pella works a lot at SungateKids, a center where forensic interviewers talk to kids and adults who have either witnessed a crime or been victims of one.
“They’re here to talk about things that are traumatic. They, depending on their age, may not have that recognition of it being traumatic, but they feel it,” Urban said.
Children often pet Pella and hold on to her leash while they’re talking.
“…It’s a little bit better of a connection for a lot of kids to be able to interact with the dog who has no judgment, no opinion. The kids see that and they’re like, ‘Wow, they just like me.’”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: amber urban, aurora, aurora police department, children, colorado, comfort, courthouse dogs, courts, crimes, developmentally disabled, emotional, golden retriever, labrador retriever, law enforcement, pals, paws assisting the legal system, pella, sungate kids, support, victims, witnesses
A popular dog park in Aurora, Colorado has been shut down after an increase in dogs being bitten by rattlesnakes.
The decision was made to close the Great Plains Dog Park off Jewel Avenue earlier this month after two dogs were bitten.
Veterinarians in the Denver metro area say they saw an unusually high number of dogs bitten by rattlesnakes in May.
The closure of the Great Plains Dog Park is temporary until the city decides how to make the park safer, CBS4 in Denver reported.
“You just have to be cautious and keep your dogs near you enough and hope that they are smart enough that if they see a snake they’ll not tempt fate,” dog owner Skip Stewart said.
When a dog sees a snake, it’s recommended for the owner to call the dog and try to back away slowly. People or dogs bitten by rattlers should get medical attention as quickly as possible.
CBS4 said there are reports that some local veterinarians are running out of the anti-venom medicines.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, aurora, bites, bitten, colorado, dog park, dogs, great plains dog park, health, news, ohmidog!, park, parks, pets, rattlers, rattlesnake, safety, snakes