Meet Blue: Rhode Island Police Department Gets First Therapy Dog
A police department in Rhode Island has a noteworthy new addition to the team, and social media is swooning over how cute he is.
A 10-week-old black Labrador retriever puppy named Blue has officially joined the Tiverton Police Department, located about 20 miles southeast of Providence. The pint-sized pup’s first day on the job was September 7, and the Tiverton PD has taken to Facebook to document his exciting adventures on the force.
The Puppy is Tiverton’s First Therapy Dog
Blue is currently serving as the Tiverton Police Department’s first-ever therapy dog. It all started when Officer Shaun Wilson thought a comfort companion would be a welcome addition to the police team.
“I’ve always wanted to be a K9 officer,” he said. “When I saw the need and the rewarding outcome of a comfort dog I started looking into it more.” The police department chose Blue from Boonefield Labradors, a reputable breeder that also trains Labrador retrievers as therapy dogs.
Blue Was Born and Bred to Be a Police Dog
The Tiverton Police Department was open to the idea of acquiring a police dog and took to social media to chronicle the process of selecting Blue, his police dog training, and his eventual adoption.
Blue was exactly what the Tiverton Police Department needed. “The program helps bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community,” said Officer Wilson. “It is important to be able to help build upon that relationship.”
The Tiverton PD Also Has Other Animal Units
The Tiverton PD has always supported animals on the job. Blue will be joining the department’s therapy cat, Scrappy. According to Officer Wilson, “She has provided a lot of comfort to the officers and staff at the department.”
Now, with Blue on board, the Tiverton PD will have plenty of animal companions to soothe Rhode Island residents who find themselves in stressful situations. There are also other police therapy dogs in the area. Just a few towns over, the Boonefield Police Department has a comfort dog named Hank and the Bristol Police Department has another canine named Brody.
Blue’s First Day Was Full of Fun
Blue’s first day on the force was eventful. He strolled into the Tiverton Police Department and was greeted by his fellow officers and members of the local fire department.
Blue’s first order of business was to visit town hall and get a checkup at the veterinarian. Blue kept busy later that day by visiting with students at Tiverton High School. As a reward for a job well done, Blue went to a concert and got his first pup cup from Starbucks.
Blue Has Become a Social Media Star
Blue’s undeniable cuteness has garnered a lot of attention on social media.
When the department posted a sweet snapshot of the puppy sitting at a computer desk to their official Facebook page, social media users were quick to comment on how well-behaved he was. “Mastered ‘Sit up straight’, ‘Stay’ and is ready to type already – WOW,” wrote one user. “Good for you guys,” said another person before adding, “That pup will help some traumatized citizen or officer feel a bit better someday.”
Blue Is Just a “Normal Pup” on His Off Days
Officer Wilson, who works alongside Blue and is responsible for him during his days off-duty, insists that the dog spends his free time just being a “normal pup.”
Wilson has been taking him to different places around Rhode Island to help him adapt to any situation. Blue enjoys going to “games, nursing homes, and more” to pass the time. The curious canine loves experiencing new settings and getting pets from as many members of the community as he can.
Blue Has Even Gotten Mainstream Media Attention
Even though he is still new to the police force, Blue has already brought tons of joy to the town of Tiverton.
“He has brought a new spark to our little town,” said Officer Wilson. Blue’s adorable adventures as a hard-working police pup have even gotten the attention of the mainstream media. Blue’s story has been picked up by USA Today, giving Blue and the Tiverton PD a national platform.
Blue Has His Own Personal Social Media Accounts
There has been so much buzz surrounding Blue that the little sensation even has his own personal Facebook page and Instagram account. The “K9 Blue TPD” page on Facebook has more than 1,800 followers, while Blue’s Instagram has captured the hearts of more than 600 loyal fans.
Blue’s social media accounts highlight all of the dog’s good deeds. From visiting schools, libraries, and people with special needs, Blue continues to spread positivity throughout all of Tiverton.
“Blue” Has a Good Sense of Humor
Blue’s Facebook page details his daily adventures with the police department, and whoever runs the account uses Blue’s voice to tell hilarious tales about his experiences.
“I took a trip to the Tiverton Library Services RI, today and hung out with all the librarians,” wrote “Blue” in one post. “They didn’t exactly like me biting on the books but I told them that’s just how I read. I got my library card so hopefully I can catch the next storytime.”
Working Like a Dog
Blue was “partially donated” to the Tiverton Police Department by Boonefield Labradors in New Hampshire. The organization revealed that they offer a discounted rate for future police pooches.
Boonefield Labradors has donated 35 “working dogs” including 25 that work for police departments in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Vermont. Other dogs have been given to local universities, psychologists’ offices, and a memory center.
Everyone Loves Blue
Blue is lovable and endearing to everyone he meets. “My child literally just asked this afternoon if I would take her to TPD so she could meet Blue,” wrote one mom on Blue’s Facebook page.
Another person chimed in to say, “Blue is perfect. Every department should be so blessed.” Whether you’re lucky enough to meet Blue in person or you simply follow Blue’s online presence, the Tiverton Police Department’s K-9 unit is overwhelmingly appreciated by all.