ARIZONA NEWS

Mesa police add their first therapy dog to special victims unit

Jul 12, 2018, 4:12 AM
Macy is an English Labrador retriever, which are a bit bigger and brawnier than their American coun...
Macy is an English Labrador retriever, which are a bit bigger and brawnier than their American counterparts. (Photo courtesy of Mesa Police Department)
(Photo courtesy of Mesa Police Department)

MESA – Mesa police have adopted their first therapy dog, primarily to provide smiles and comfort to those who have been traumatized by crime.

Macy, a 16-week-old English Labrador puppy, will be trained to work in the special victims unit as a therapy dog for children and adults.

“What we’re hoping is that down the road, when she’s certified, that she’ll be able to help with reluctant victims, maybe children who are not comfortable talking about what happened to them, even adults who are very upset or distraught about what happened,” said Mesa police detective Chelsie Furman, who will train Macy.

Dogs have a way of bringing those things out of people, making it easier to talk through difficult experiences.

Police detective Chelsie Furman, who will train Macy, says the 16-week-old pooch already has provided a measure of comfort to officers who have recently lost loved ones. (Photo courtesy of Mesa Police Department)

Macy won’t be able to interact with victims until she’s certified, but her trainer says the pooch is right on track.

“Right at 8 weeks, we started ‘sit’ and ‘down’ and she was already picking that up,” Furman said. “We’ve gotten to the point where we can go to ‘stay’ and get out of the room before she breaks the stay.”

Although Macy can’t work with crime victims yet, Furman says she helped comfort some officers who have lost family members. Just having a puppy in the office lifts of the spirits of everyone, she said.

Therapy dogs provide scientifically proven benefits for victims. They are said to help with depression and anxiety, reduce blood pressure and promote communication, according to PAWS for people, a nonprofit organization specializing in therapy dogs.

The department says Macy will be certified in therapy as well as emotional support.

“Talk to a dog for a minute. Forget about the trouble of everyday life for a moment.” Furman said.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Former President Donald Trump, left, and Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (Getty Images Photos)...
Kevin Stone

Donald Trump endorses Rusty Bowers’ foe in Arizona state Senate race

About a week after Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers testified for the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, former President Donald Trump endorsed Bowers’ opponent in the upcoming election.
1 day ago
(Twitter Photo/@ArizonaDOT)...
KTAR.com

Dust storm moves into Valley ahead of expected overnight thunderstorms

A dust storm was spotted Wednesday afternoon in the southeast Valley ahead of anticipated thunderstorms overnight.
1 day ago
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)...
Danny Shapiro

AG Mark Brnovich says pre-statehood abortion ban is law of the land in Arizona

Attorney General Mark Brnovich released a conclusion Wednesday stating a pre-statehood abortion ban that only allows the procedure when it saves the mother's life is the law of the land in Arizona.
1 day ago
Rob Duggan (Town of Gilbert Photo)...
KTAR.com

Town of Gilbert promotes assistant Rob Duggan to fire chief

The town of Gilbert announced Wednesday that Assistant Chief Rob Duggan has been promoted to serve as the next fire chief.
1 day ago
After multiple nights of abortion-rights protests, security fences and barbed wire surround the Ari...
Kevin Stone

Electronic surveillance used in 8 Phoenix abortion protest arrests; court doesn’t find probable cause

Electronic surveillance was involved in eight of the nine arrests state troopers made over the weekend at or near abortion rights protests at the Arizona Capitol, according to court documents.
1 day ago
...
Sponsored Content by Arizona Department of Health Services

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
Mesa police add their first therapy dog to special victims unit