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Joy, The Police Dog

May 15, 2020

There’s a new, fresh and even panting face among the Cornwall Police Service (CPS) roster — Joy, a five-year old service dog.

The female chocolate Labrador and bernese mix is the CPS’ first accredited Facility Dog and has received training through National Service Dogs since she was a puppy. Joy began working with the CPS back in August, through a partnership with Victim Services of SDG&A and Koala Place.

Since her first day on the job, the canine has used her extensive training to provide physical, social and emotional healing for individuals and families that undergo any form of stress or trauma.

“Joy is used to bring a sense of calmness and comfort to victims or witnesses of crime,” said Danielle Lauzon, property and exhibit manager as well as quartermaster for the CPS. “She helps alleviate some of the discomfort when having to speak to a police officer about a traumatic or unfortunate circumstance.”

The dog has assisted with several witnesses and victims of crime. She additionally has provided a calm approach to those who are extremely upset and has acted as a bridge of communication with people who have difficulty communicating their story, including children and individuals with disabilities.

A Facility Dog is oftentimes used as an effective icebreaker for difficult conversations, providing a calming influence to those who may be anxious or emotional, and helping to normalize a traumatic situation with the soothing presence of a canine companion. The Facility Dog may spend time sitting quietly alongside a child or youth as they disclose traumatic events.

In announcing the addition of their first Facility Dog, the CPS also recently asked Cornwall children aged 12 and under to come up with their best idea to spread joy and kindness.

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