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Comfort dogs provide therapy to KCK police officers

Posted at 6:12 AM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 07:12:28-04

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The newest members of the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department are two puppies named Hailey and Charley.

The five-month-old dogs were found by city officials on the streets as strays. The department decided to adopt the animals and use them to provide stress relief for officers.

“I knew it was something that was important. We’ve had several tragedies and it’s hard on people. It’s hard on the officers. It’s hard on the staff,” said Jennifer Stewart, director of animal services.

The decision to have a comfort dog was made before the coronavirus pandemic, however, the animals' presence is making a difference for officers dealing with the combination of violent crime, police protest and a pandemic.

“Officers walking into headquarters coming off a difficult call, or maybe just a normal call, and just seeing like that tiredness in their face and they see the dogs running towards them and instantly you see a smile. It’s an amazing thing to see,” Detective Sara Janeczko said.

Hailey and Charley will be trained when they’re a year old.

According to Detective Janeczko, the dogs will also be available to calm crime victims.