Ozzie is the Kitimat RCMP Victim Services’ new therapy dog in training. Once he has his official certification

Kitimat welcomes crisis dog

Ozzie, a two year old Corgi/Lab cross, is being trained to provide comfort to people dealing with challenging situations

Everyone loves a man in uniform, right? The newest team member at the Kitimat RCMP detachment is no exception to that rule.

Ozzie, a two year old Corgi/Labrador mix, is currently being trained to become a therapy dog with the Victim Services section, run by liaison Leisl Kaberry, who is also Ozzie’s owner.

Kaberry and her family adopted Ozzie from the Kitimat Humane Society when he was just four months old. He has a naturally calm demeanour, says Kaberry, which makes him a great candidate for the therapy dog training.

Kaberry is hoping to get Ozzie tested for his full therapy dog certification in the spring, after he completes his four levels of training. He’s already got a good handle on some of the behavioural commands, such as laying down and sitting when asked. He can also high five, which he is keen to do when there’s a treat involved.

The funding for the therapy dog program will be coming from the Kitimat Community Services, which has money to be carried over from Kaberry’s position, which is part time.

Kaberry is learning how to train Ozzie through the Caring K-9 Institute, based out of Prince George. Krista Levar, who runs the program, also started the Victim Services Therapy Dog Program with the Prince George RCMP. Her dog Max attends court cases and helps victims feel more at ease when discussing difficult testimony.

Ozzie won’t be able to assist in a courtroom until he’s completely certified, but until then, he’s pretty content to hang out in Kaberry’s office and soak up all of the attention from the officers and visitors to the detachment. He’ll also accompany Kaberry on Victim Services calls that won’t be too overwhelming or inappropriate for him.

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