INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Allie, a chocolate Labrador, will join the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department as its first full-time therapy dog to help bring comfort and unconditional love to officers and their families.
The department thanked Ultimate Canine, an organization that trains therapy, service and police dogs. Owner Julie Case told News 8 Allie is 5 months old.
Allie is expected to be sworn in and operational by the end of March, the department said.
Dog handler Robert Turner said Allie will join the Wellness Unit.
“There’s a lot that we take on and a lot of times we don’t know how to let that go. What we’re here with our unit for is to try to help people understand that it’s OK we’re officers, but it’s OK that we are dealing with things and this is how we can better ourselves by letting it go,” said Turner.
Allie and other therapy dogs train every day at Ultimate Canine. Case said therapy dogs help lower blood pressure. They can be found in schools, rehab centers and law enforcement agencies across the country.
“I think it’s that unconditional love that we are all looking for and they are the best unconditional love givers,” said Case.
However, training isn’t all cuddles, as Allie learns how to tolerate high levels of stress by being exposed to various distractions.
“Not only basic commands like sit, down, stay, come, heal, leave it. It also consist of being able to do these down stays for an hour with babies in strollers, kittens, puppies and people visiting in and out,” explained Case. “There’re times when these puppies have to focus and allow a child to read a book to them and that might take like 30 minutes and the dog must lay calmly and be there for them.”
Turner said he has not personally met Allie yet but will after training.