New pup on the block: Adopted stray becomes Bloomer PD’s first therapy dog
Handler Sgt. John Beyer and SRO, will soon bring Keeta’s services to students as the Bloomer School District recently passed a policy for therapy dogs to work within the classroom.
BLOOMER, Wis. (WEAU) -The Bloomer Police Department recently welcomed a new four-legged addition to the task force, but the dog’s journey has been anything but a walk in the park.
“January 5th it was, that Keeta was actually called in as an animal at-large in the city,” says Sergeant John Beyer, Bloomer Police Department.
Keeta is the new pup on the block, holding the working title of Bloomer Police Department: Therapy/Emotional Support Dog.
A title and certification not every animal is cut out for, “it includes everything from walking through a crowd of people, avoiding distractions... to sitting reading a book with me during the testing, while kids were playing in the background,” says Beyer.
Beyer says Keeta passed with flying colors.
“It’s very humbling and heartwarming to know that she is a good dog, that she gets a second chance, to do anything she wants to do.
A good dog, the Bloomer School District was quick to catch wind of.
“When I’ve talked with other districts its not uncommon to have therapy dogs onsite pretty much everyday, available to respond to student needs, but also just part of the daily programming,” says Brian Misfeldt, Bloomer School District superintendent.
Misfeldt says the district recently passed a policy to start bringing therapy dogs in the classroom.
“John had mentioned he’d been looking at getting a therapy dog trained for a while and thought she’d be fantastic,” Misfeldt recalls. “So we got talking about the program and the timing was just really right, in that he was able to get her certified as a therapy dog right at the time we were looking to bring a therapy dog in schools.”
Sgt. Beyer also serves as a school resource officer (SRO) within the district, a win-win for the district Misfeldt calls it.
“I think it’s perfect our school resource officer has a therapy dog because really the goal of that program is to make students more comfortable interacting with our police officers and feel safe with our police officers, and I think Keeta is just going to add to that environment.
But Keeta’s therapy services won’t stop at students, “She’ll also be utilized here at the police department anytime there’s a stressful incident, whether it be a domestic or child involved case,” where she’ll be available to sit and comfort victims, Beyer says.
“The meaning of Keeta, is also blessing,” Beyer says.
The 7-year-old proving old dogs can learn new tricks.
Misfeldt says in addition to Keeta the district has three other staff members who are in the process of getting therapy dogs certified with hopes of piloting the program within the district in the next few weeks.
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