Jasper (left) and Jake bring comfort to the members of the Abbotsford Police Department as needed. Jasper is retiring at the end of April, and Jake is hoping to take his place. (Photo of Jake by Dale Klippenstein)

Pooches Jasper and Jake bring comfort to Abbotsford Police Department

Comfort dogs there for cuddles and play time when needed

When members of the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) are having a tough day, there’s a four-legged furball they can turn to for guaranteed smiles.

The department has a new comfort dog in training: Jake, a playful and energetic 12-week-old golden retriever who loves socializing and cuddles.

Jake hopes to take over from the APD’s current comfort dog, Jasper, a seven-year-old border collie-lab cross who is leaving when his owner, Monique Olinoski, retires at the end of April after 23 years.

APD Sgt. Judy Bird said having a comfort dog around the office provides some levity to what can otherwise be a heavy job.

“It changes the atmosphere. It’s a serious business we’re in,” she said.

Other Lower Mainland police detachments have comfort dogs, and the APD looked at getting one through the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society (PADS) after the fatal shooting of Const. John Davidson in November 2017, but the wait list is two to three years.

Meanwhile, Olinoski – the co-ordinator of the APD’s victim services – was told she could bring in Jasper, a rescue dog who has obedience training, to be a comfort to staff and volunteers.

She has since kept him with her in her department, and whoever wants a visit with Jasper just needs to ask or to drop by.

“Our unit has 55 volunteers, and he greets every one when they walk in the door. Every time a door opens, he is waiting to say hi,” Olinoski said.

“Some staff have supplies of dog treats in their offices for when he stops by and, as a result, he might have 10 extra pounds on him since we started!”

Jasper also provides comfort to victims – for example, when having to relay a traumatic experience to an investigator.

Jake came into the picture when he was adopted at Christmas time by human resources director Patricia Lo.

The puppy instantly bonded with her family and their two other dogs, and Lo thought Jake might make a good fit for the APD, especially with Jasper’s impending departure.

ALSO READ: Vancouver library loans out therapy dogs for 15-minute outings

She asked APD Chief Mike Serr about the possibility of Jake taking over from Jasper, and he was supportive.

Lo has been bringing him into work ever since, getting Jake used to being around lots of people before he goes through advanced obedience training and, hopefully, receives accreditation as a comfort dog.

Lo said that Jake, whom she describes as “affectionate and sweet-natured,” is doing well with the integration.

“He is very adaptable to new surroundings and people. I have brought him through our buildings, and he has met so many people in and out of uniform, and he is social and curious,” she said.

Jake even has his own Instagram account (@jakethegoldenofthenorth) where people can keep up with his adventures and growth.

Lo said having Jasper and Jake around is a boost to the department.

“In this world of policing where our employees have to face challenging situations, having a dog to provide cuddles to when they return to the office is a small gesture that can brighten a day,” she said.

Report an error or send us your tips, photos and video.

Vikki Hopes | Reporter

@VikkiHopes

Send Vikki an email.
Like the Abbotsford News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Police

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Fraser Valley Bandits, CEBL bringing pro sports back later this month

Abbotsford-based basketball team kicks off CEBL Summer Series on July 26

VIDEO: Car goes off Highway 1 and into a ditch in Chilliwack

Eastbound vehicle left the highway ending in the ditch on south side of Luckakuck Way

Guilty verdict for one of two men in large illegal marijuana grow-operation in Chilliwack

Charges dismissed against property owner where 3,200 plants, 32 kgs of dried weed found in 2017

Search continues for person seen floating in Coquihalla River in Hope

Rescuers halted the search Thursday night as darkness fell

Rescuers halt Coquihalla River search due to darkness, after reports of person in river

No information to indicate a child is involved, RCMP state, after this information surfaced on social media

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Friends, family remember victim of Langley possible triple-homicide fire at memorial

Memorial held for one the of three found dead at a house fire in Langley Meadows last month

Family and friends mark birthday of teen who died after being discovered in Langley park

Carson Crimeni suffered an apparent drug overdose, his final moments broadcast on social media

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Semi and BMW collide on South Surrey highway

At least one person to hospital, both vehicles sustained significant damage

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

Most Read