EXETER – The Exeter Police Department are adding a passive addition to the force: a comfort dog is joining the ranks for the first time and has already started training with his master detective Bailey Teixeira.
The department has partnered with Hero Pups, a Stratham-based nonprofit dedicated to pairing support dogs with veterans and first responders.
This will be the first comfort dog placed with a coastal police department by the all-volunteer Hero Pups since the organization was founded in 2016.
Although no decision has yet been made on a name, Teixeira and the new comfort dog – a 4-month-old chocolate lab – will train together under the guidance of Hero Pups founder Laura Barker until until she is one year old, at which time she will officially begin her duties with the department and the community of Exeter.
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Exeter Police say the four-legged new recruit, whose mother was a rescue dog who gave birth while in the care of Hero Pups, will become a vital resource for trauma victims, ensuring a therapeutic role while helping to defuse stress. situations.
Among her duties, Teixeira focuses on crimes involving minors as well as all sexual assaults, conducting numerous interviews and working alongside the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
“Our comfort dog will be instrumental in providing a calming presence to any victims who need his support during some of their most difficult days,” Teixeira said.
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After a long day at work, the comfort dog will come home with Teixeira, and when they’re not on standby, she can unwind from her day and relax like any other pup.
Funding for the comfort dog will be covered entirely by tax-free donations. A fundraising campaign will be announced in the coming weeks.
“Hero Pups are an amazing organization and we appreciate all the work Laura and her volunteers have done to make comfort dogs available to law enforcement like Exeter,” said Chief Stephan Poulin, who has worked with Teixeira and Deputy Chief Josh McCain to add comfort. This is a resource we’ve been talking about for a while now and we’re excited to finally get our new dog on board and introduce him to the community.
In addition to his work for the department, the dog will also be visible in the community, attending various events and visiting local schools, particularly when he can be of help in stressful situations.
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“We are delighted to be working with the Exeter Police Service and pleased that Chief Poulin and Deputy Chief McCain have been looking for new ways to help their community,” Barker said. “Det. Bailey Teixeira is the perfect person to take care of this pup and we look forward to working with her.
The new comfort dog will make its big public debut on National Night Out on Tuesday, August 2 from 4-7 p.m. at Swasey Parkway.
“We hope people will stop by to meet our new recruit. She is sure to provide lots of hugs and kisses,” Teixeira said.