SAVANNAH, GA. – A 10-week old Labrador puppy named Goose begins training this week as Savannah Police Department’s first therapy dog.
“This is something that will be an asset for department members and the community,” Chief Lenny Gunther said. “Whether it’s an officer who needs a little nuzzle after a stressful call or it’s a community member who is going through a traumatic incident, Goose will be here to help.”
A therapy dog is a dog that has been specifically trained to provide comfort and affection to people other than its owners. Therapy dogs have been used in visits to hospital, schools, nursing homes, disaster zones and anywhere people may be in distress.
Goose has been assigned to handler Cpl. Julie Cavanaugh of the Behavioral Health Unit and will respond with her as part of her duties. The Behavioral Health Unit responds to calls involving people who are in distress or are in mental crisis. If needed, Goose will be deployed to assist and calm situations that BHU may be handling. Goose can also be used in the department for any situation where a little comfort may be needed, whether that is comforting an officer or comforting a person who witnessed or was victim to a tragic incident.
“We are so excited to add Goose to the department and see all the way that he will be helpful to this community,” Assistant Chief Robert Gavin said. “Someone suggested naming him Goose after Maverick’s co-pilot in the movie Top Gun. It fits perfectly for what he will be doing here. He will be our co-pilot every day.”
The public can follow Goose’s adventures at www.facebook.com/goosetherapydog.