If you walk into an Independence Township, Pontiac or Rochester Hills school, chances are you may see a four-legged creature roaming the halls.
On Monday, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard introduced two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels to the department’s K9 Comfort Dog Unit: Wildcat and Sadie, who are between 10 and 11 weeks old. With the two, that brings the number of comfort dogs to eight.
The pups attend public and school events, perform community outreach in hospitals, respond to natural disaster scenes or perform crisis intervention, said the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.
Wildcat has already had an effect on the community: she helped defuse an incident involving a combative man who had threatened a family. The puppy calmed the man without any further incident, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Dayna DeMeester is a resource deputy at Clarkston High School, where she brings Wildcat to work every day. She leaves her office door open for students to visit Wildcat when they feel they need to.
When Wildcat is not on the clock, she’s a farm dog at home among other animals like donkeys, cats, horses and other dogs.
“The impact has been amazing. The kids gravitate toward the dogs, the dogs go right to the kids, they love them, they give them kisses, they climb up in their laps,” said Sheriff Michael Bouchard. “How can you not smile when a dog is coming up to you? That’s the affect they have on you.”
Two more puppies are expected to join Tazer (age 4), Indy (6 months), Scarlet (age 1), Oxford (6 months), Cali (age 1) and Max (age 4) in about seven weeks, the Sheriff’s Office said.