Police Department Therapy Dog
The Buffalo Grove Police Department has welcomed a therapy dog to its team. ‘Gus’, a four-year old white Labrador Retriever-Standard Poodle mix, will work with the department’s Police Social Worker (PSW), Brittany Wilson, to make positive connections in the community. Gus was adopted to assist with public relations and community engagement, in addition to helping with victim’s advocacy, mental health, and trauma response. The therapy dog will also be a valuable resource to first responders who may be dealing with the stress and impact of experiences on the job, and offer additional support to members of the department in their overall wellness.
Gus is a graduate of Paws & Stripes®, a comfort and therapy dog obedience program, which is facilitated by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. Paws & Stripes® pairs trained and carefully selected jail inmates with shelter dogs who are specifically trained as law enforcement therapy dogs. All dogs selected receive basic obedience training and are screened for temperament and behavioral characteristics.
PSW Wilson underwent the 40-hour advanced training course with Gus to become certified as a Nationally Registered Therapy Dog Team. “I am happy to be part of a program that provides comfort to those in need,” said Wilson. “Gus will provide a valuable service to the Village.”
The training program is free of cost and several local businesses have contributed donations for Gus’ routine care, including veterinarian services from Animal Care Center
(600 McHenry Road, Buffalo Grove), food from Page’s Healthy Paws in Lake Zurich, and a financial contribution from Target in Wheeling. In addition, TOPS Kennel in Grayslake has been providing continued training for Gus and his handler.