Sign In

Police Force Gets Therapy Dog

December 2, 2020

During these stressful times, a local police department is making changes.

The North Tonawanda Police Department is expanding and reaching out to the community like never before.

Their newest and most popular officer… has four legs.

Police dogs come in all breeds, shapes and sizes.

Some K9’s are tasked with finding drugs, others find people… and then there’s Remy.

Remy is a 4-month-old golden doodle full of all that puppy energy and curiosity.

“When she warms up to you, she really warms up to you,” said Chief of NT Police, Thomas Krantz.

Remy is in training to become the North Tonawanda Police Department’s first therapy dog.

She’s working on her learning her manners, commands and to handle human touch.

“A couple times a day I will pull her tail, play with her ears, her paws, her feet. Anything that a small child might do to her, I’m just getting her used to that and that she tolerates it,” explained Lieutenant Michelle Day.

Right now, she’s perfecting her skills through the AKC Star Puppy Program.

After that, she’ll head to Florida to attend Paws and Stripes College for national certification.

It’s important because soon, she’ll have a very big job.

“She’s supposed to buffer the stress response. Not only for the officers at the department but especially for the victims,” said Day.

Lieutenant Michelle Day has been with the police department for nearly 10 years.

She works in the special victim’s unit, handling abuse, neglect, sexual assault and any crimes against children and the elderly in North Tonawanda.

Getting people to open up is hard.

“It can be difficult at times because you’re asking them to tell you their deepest darkest secrets,” said Lt. Day.

The idea to bring Remy onto the force began when Lieutenant Day found herself in a tough situation, trying to get a child to tell her story.

She was already thinking about getting another dog, so she asked the little girl to help her pick out a puppy.

That’s when things changed in an instant.

“She stopped crying. We went through all 8 puppies. We kind of went through which one she liked, curly haired, straight haired and she eventually calmed down enough so that I could get a statement and continue on with the investigation,” said Lt. Day.

Lt. Day didn’t just want a new dog for her family, she wanted one that could help the public.

Remy won’t cost the department a penny.

“She approached me about the idea and I let her go with it and you see the result… the new face of the NT police department,” said Chief Krantz.

Remy comes at a time when police departments across the state are implementing new reform measures under the executive order of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

North Tonawanda is working to ease tension and gain trust between their officers and the community they serve.

“Based on the phone calls and the interest we’re getting from other departments and other states, I think you’re going to see it. I don’t know if every department will go in this direction, but I think you’re going to see a number of departments go in this direction if they’re not already doing it,” said Chief Krantz.

Chief Krantz believes his department is setting an example.

“I mean, you see how everyone reacts with dogs. She’s going to break the ice and people are going to see us as not just police officers. We’re not there in a negative way, this will bring a positive so people can see us in a different light,” explained Chief Krantz.

“Ice breaker” might be her nickname… but you could argue she’ll be doing a little more than that.

Like most dogs, Remy provides a sense of purpose and takes away the constant worry and stress of what we’re all experiencing these days.

“She alleviates some of that,” said Krantz.

Whether in the office, or patrolling the streets — her service comes during a time, when a little puppy love is needed the most.

Register your Dog Schedule a Visit

  • Recent News

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogs At School

    Those who own a dog can attest to their ability to lift mood, improve stress and bring joy by simply being there, unanswering, seemingly all-knowing and always delighted to see you.  Therapy animals are known for their calm and comforting nature, giving people a way to relax, de-stress and interact with a loving pet.  They […]

    Read more

    Wonder Dog

    For those of us with dogs, we know they quickly become major parts of the family. You live for and care for just like one of your own children, and one dog right here in Oklahoma City is beating the odds, and helping others recover as a therapy dog, despite all of the issues he’s […]

    Read more

    Scott And Charlie

    Cherokee Middle School students may do a little more “doodling” second semester starting this month (January), but also will improve their attendance marks because of a special attraction at the school, courtesy of Principal Scott Aden. Aden, an effective, caring administrator, has acquired and will house and handle a young female Golden Doodle (Charlie) that […]

    Read more

    Hope For Veterans

    E5 Therapy opened in April with a different way to help veterans in therapy. They offer canine-assisted therapy along with talk therapy to veterans and veterans’ families in Solano County. Owner Matthew Decker is a licensed clinical social worker in Northern California, focused on helping veterans achieve their mental health goals. Along with his team, […]

    Read more