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Police trauma dog honoured for helping kids through ‘scary’ criminal cases

Click to play video: 'Police trauma dog in Alberta recognized for helping kids through ‘scary’ criminal cases' Police trauma dog in Alberta recognized for helping kids through ‘scary’ criminal cases
WATCH: He’s a comforting canine companion for so many Calgary-area kids at a very tough time. And now, as Gil Tucker shows us, there’s some well-deserved recognition for Jake the trauma dog. – Jul 19, 2021

It’s a big week for a police trauma dog in the Calgary area.

A five-year-old black lab named Jake has just been awarded the annual Community Justice award from the Alberta government.

Since he began his service in November 2019, Jake has supported 89 victims of crime, most of them children.

Read more: Sniffing out crime: why there are fewer female police dogs than male in Canada

“Jake has been an integral part of a multitude of investigations: assault files, sexual assault files, child abuse files,” Airdrie RCMP Const. Shelley Strangis said.

“He’s been able to comfort the victims (after) they’ve experienced such a traumatic event and he’s able to help them calm down and express what happened to them.”

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Jake has helped to bring criminals to justice, while supporting victims in the Calgary area during investigations and in court.

“He will actually sit right at the feet of the person testifying,” Jake’s handler Debbie Reid said.

“It’s scary to attend court, especially for young people, and so sometimes there’s crying and they hug him.”

Read more: Police dog sniffs out man’s lost wedding band tossed during argument

Jake also provides support for police officers.

“There was one time where I was having a really stressful day and when I sat down, he right away put his head on my lap,” Strangis said.

Reid says after a bit more than a year-and-a-half on duty, Jake is just hitting his stride as an excellent trauma dog.

“If we can get another four to five years out of him, I will be thrilled.”

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