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.
“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.”
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.”
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.
“Just with a couple of snuggles and cuddles, he was able to relax me.”
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.”