The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office welcomes its newest recruit, Therapy K9 Angel, to our team. Angel is not tasked with searching for drugs, people, or bombs – this canine officer is trained to sniff out stress.
Angel, a black Labrador Retriever, was donated to the Sheriff’s Office from K9s For Warriors. As part of the nonprofit’s mission to end veteran suicide through Service Dogs, K9s For Warriors collaborates with first responder agencies to provide certified therapy dogs through its nationwide Station Dog Program.
This American Kennel Club recognized therapy dog is already providing emotional support and comfort to our officers here at Sheriff’s Office who experience trauma and daily stresses while on the job.
As a valued new OCSO Peer Support Team member, Angel will also spend time supporting victims and witnesses as needed.
Since her short time with OCSO, Angel has already developed bonds with law enforcement and administrative personnel. Angel loves attention, treats, and belly rubs.
Although Angel is a Station K9, meaning she is for and belongs to the agency, she has been assigned to Deputy Chief Hazellief as her handler to maintain her daily needs and health. Chief Hazellief stated, “We are so thankful to have been selected for the K9s for Warriors Station Dog Program. Animals can serve as a source of comfort and support. Therapy dogs are especially good at this. Research has shown that the presence of therapy animals can lower blood pressure, decrease anxiety, improve mood, and foster feelings of support and confidence in humans.
I look forward to the therapeutic effects she can help provide our Sheriff’s Office and comfort members of our community who have suffered extreme victimization. This is another example of Sheriff Stephen working to provide the best service for our community.”
“Through our Station Dog Program, we aim to support law enforcement officers and first responders who selflessly put their lives on the line, just like our veterans,” Carl Cricco, CEO of K9s For Warriors. “Angel is already proving to be a valuable addition to the Sheriff’s Office family, and I have no doubt the impact of Angel is only just beginning. We look forward to continuing our dedication to serving the heroes of our communities.”
We will happily arrange interviews if you want to meet Angel in person.