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Hubbard swears in first police therapy dog

Staff report

HUBBARD — The Hubbard Police Department has added a new, four-legged member to the force as Oakley, a labradoodle, was sworn in as the department’s first therapy dog.

Mayor Ben Kyle swore in Oakley, who will work with police Chief Robert Thompson, at Monday’s council meeting.

Thompson rescued Oakley from the Mahoning County Dog Pound. Thompson said when he first got Oakley, who is believed to be between 3 and 5 years old, he didn’t anticipate the dog joining the police department.

However, when Thompson witnessed how much joy his other dogs brought his elderly parents, who were quarantined and unable to leave their home due to the pandemic, he realized Oakley may be able to bring similar joy and comfort to people within the city.

With support from Kyle, former Safety Service Director Lou Carsone, new Safety Service Director Nicholas Modarelli and members of city council, Thompson started the process of getting Oakley certified as a therapy dog.

“Police agencies across the country have started adding therapy dogs to their departments. We look forward to making Oakley an official member of the Hubbard Police Department. Not only will Oakley be able to provide emotional support to victims of traumatic events as well as witnesses, he will also be able to provide emotional support to our own officers and other first responders. Through our partnership with Hubbard Schools, we also look forward to Oakley being able to work with students,” Thompson said.

Kyle said Oakley is also used as a comfort dog to help provide support to children in schools and people in the community.

The K9 Campus in Hubbard donated its services to train Oakley as a certified therapy dog. He is expected to finish his training in the next couple of months.

The Sudsy Dog of Hubbard has donated its grooming services, and Town and Country Veterinary Hospital is donating its time and services to care for Oakley.

news@tribtoday.com

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