The RCMP will honour Assistance Animal Day Monday with three of the detachment’s Victims Services dogs.
Coordinator for the RCMP’s Victims Services Unit, Krista Levar, says they make a big impact for victims in need of a little extra comfort. “It’s actually rather astounding to see how it helps children especially, when kids are introduced to the dogs it seems like all of a sudden it’s just a little less intimidating.”
Max, the yellow lab, has been helping out victims at the detachment and at the court house. Now, Yogi who is a pug and Henry, a Schnauzer/Shitzu cross, are in training. “When you walk into the courthouse everyone knows Max,” Levar laughed. “Max has been getting a little older so it’s time to start thinking about when he retires and that’s why we started training the new guys.”
Victim Services Dogs are a relatively new concept for the RCMP, but Levar says it’s continuing to grow across the country. “The therapy dog program in general across the country is fairly new, it’s been going on for about four or five years since Delta PD got their first dog,” she said. “We shortly after followed suit as well as a couple of Comox detachments and now it’s really spread across the country.”
From 3-4 p.m. Monday, the Prince George RCMP Victim Services’ Crisis Response and Therapy Dog Team will host a meet and greet at the local detachment at 455 Victoria Street. The event will be all sorts of fun for kids including contests, games, treats, and prizes.
Levar says the dogs will also perform a number of fun tricks and attempt some new tricks as well. “We want to reach out, introduce these guys to the community and just have some fun celebrating the wonderful work dogs do to help in our city.”