Therapy K-9 is back from training and ready to patrol the Ardmore streets
ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - One of the Ardmore Police Department’s furrier members just completed training in Ohio, making him one of two therapy K-9s on patrol in the country.
Rip has been employed with the Ardmore police for half a year now.
As a Therapy K-9, Rip has a lot of responsibilities: he helps kids feel safe after bad things happen, he lends a paw when officers are stressed and he bridges the gap between the department and citizens.
Rip’s handler, Ardmore police officer Brice Woolly said he’s more than qualified.
“He is overall just a very good dog,” Woolly said. “And he just enjoys being able to get out there and just try to help people and be around them, especially kids. He loves to be around kids. You can tell when a kid comes in a room, that tail goes to wagging.”
Rip just came back from training in Ohio, where he and 11 other dogs learned skills like ignoring food, agility training and not being afraid of loud noises.
“We exposed them to a helicopter.” Woolly said. “We had a police helicopter fly around us and the dogs had to maintain a sitting or laying down position the whole time.”
Rip is one of the only Therapy k-9s in the country who is going on patrols with his handler.
“The other dogs in law enforcement are used in detective divisions, where they are strictly being used in like interviews with children. interviews of victims of crimes, in a courthouse setting with victim testimony.”
And Rip does all that, but as a patrol dog he can respond to a stressful situation at a moment’s notice.
Woolly said he saw that in action when an asphalt plant exploded earlier this year.
“Rip and I was one of the first officers on that scene at that explosion,” Woolly said. “I didn’t know really at the time what his job would entail in that. But just having Rip show ups and be with the first responders and be able to mingle with the first responders. And then later on being able to be with the family that had lost a loved one, and to just be a dog and love on the family and just be there to try and help with the stressful situation, it really made a big difference.”
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