Albany Police Department de-stresses with new therapy dogs

Special Reports

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Albany Police Department added two new recruits to its roster, Maxy and Finn.

Maxy and Finn are two therapy dogs meant to help with the stresses sworn and non-sworn employees are under.

“We’re really doing something different that’s addressing something that’s very very serious,” said Chief Eric Hawkins.

Chief Hawkins said some of the stresses include long hours due to a staff shortage and low pay compared to other departments.

“It’s going to have an impact on the health and wellness overall of the employees that are here now and those who will be coming,” Hawkins said.

The dogs go on patrol with their handlers, driving back seat in the cars and walking through the community.

“We used her once at a roll over car accident in, which a child was not ejected from the car, but he had to watch his mom be extracted by the fire department,” said Maxy’s Handler, Kyle Haller. “I brought the dog to St. Peter’s Hospital where [he] was able to kind of hang out with the dog, and I think mom appreciated it, too.”

Both dogs were given to the department — Maxy by a local breeder and Finn from a corrections program in Florida.

Every other week, the dogs get go to Bloomingrove Veterinary Hospital in Rennselaer to maintain their training from Kathy Rogers. Rogers trains the dogs free of charge.

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