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WRPS, St. John Ambulance join forces to launch therapy dog program

To assist victims of crime
WRPS therapy dogs

The Waterloo Regional Police Service and St. John Ambulance have partnered together to announce a Therapy Dog program that will assist individuals victimized by crime.

The pilot program was recently announced during a swearing in ceremony at police Headquarters. All public health guidelines were abided by.

“This partnership will provide a professional, knowledgeable, compassionate and inclusive approach to helping victims and survivors of crime,” said Shirley Hilton, Deputy Chief for the Waterloo Regional Police Service. “Every individual experiences the impact of crime differently and it’s essential they have a safe, secure, caring, inclusive, supportive and non-judgmental environment to share these experiences. Therapy dogs can have positive benefits for persons who have experienced trauma.”

The program, which is made possible through a Ministry of the Solicitor General Proceeds of Crime Front-Line Policing Grant, will enlist a team of nine therapy dogs and handlers. The therapy dogs will be available seven days a week form 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to victims and survivors of human trafficking and sexual offences, ensuring they receive comfort and assistance throughout the entire investigation and court process.

"As the Region's premiere health and safety service provider, St. John Ambulance is very pleased to partner with the Waterloo Regional Police Service in providing support for victims of sexual assault and human trafficking,” said John Prno of St. John Ambulance. “Our members and therapy dogs are specially trained to help relieve some of the enormous stress that these individuals endure."

The St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program is a community-based service offered to the public by volunteers. 

The Waterloo Regional Police Service would like to thank all the staff, volunteers – and therapy dogs – from St. John Ambulance for helping make this program a reality. Watch the video of the ceremony on YouTube.


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