The Morton County Sheriff’s Office adds K9 therapy to its force. The dog is donated by Montana Goldendoodles and Labradoodles and, in conjunction with local businesses, will be trained and certified as a therapy dog. Deputy David Tomlinson is the Student Resource Manager for the Morton County Sheriff’s Office and will be the K9 Therapy Manager.
“We’re going to be using it in our county schools. In my experience as a school resource officer, I deal with a lot of kids who are dealing with anxiety, stress, or trauma. A lot of research and science has shown that when people are faced with this, not just children but adults in general, when your levels of anxiety and stress rise in your body and this therapy dog is brought in, basically, your happy endorphins soar and your anxiety and stress decreases.”
The dog will be used for victim advocacy in cases where victims need to testify in court and will also be deployed during fatal accidents and other traumatic incidents where it can comfort victims and first responders.
“This dog will be a member of the Sheriff’s Office, but we want communities to get involved and engage with him. So when we introduce him to community events, we want people to think this dog is basically for them. If we’re going out and you see us and you want to pet the dog and give him some love, or get some love from the dog, that’s really what we want. It’s just building a relationship with our sheriff’s office and our community.”
The goldendoodle will be the first certified law enforcement therapy dog in a North Dakota sheriff’s office once he arrives in July to begin training.