Salt Lake City police welcome support dog to work with crime victims

Rita is the new Salt Lake City Police Department support dog. Photo: SLCPD

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Dec. 11, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — The Salt Lake City Police Department has introduced its newest member to assist those who are dealing with trauma.

Rita is a 2-year-old black Labrador Golden Retriever mix, the SLCPD said in a news release. She has been in Salt Lake City for four weeks, and was donated from Canine Companions for Independence, located in Oceanside, Calif.

Rita is assigned to SLCPD’s Victim Advocates. She trains with her handler each day and has to re-certify every year.

“Rita’s focus is to be with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking to offer comfort and support,” the news release said. “She is available to victims of other crimes as well.”

“As victims are being interviewed they will have the option to have Rita there to comfort them as they speak to detectives. Rita knows 40 commands to include, cover, cuddle and visit.”

Rita will also participate with the Peer Support Program for officers that have experienced traumatic events.


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