Marion County Sheriff's Office introduces new therapy dog

- In an effort to comfort victims of violent or sensitive crimes, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) has obtained a therapy dog to assist deputies and detectives during criminal investigations.

Lily, a five year old female Beagle/Corgi mix, was rescued from a euthanasia shelter and enrolled in the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office’s “Paws & Stripes College.”

During this 8-week course, the dogs learn basic obedience skills, and selected graduates move into the advanced training program to serve as PTSD dogs, therapy dogs and child victim advocate dogs. Lily graduated from the program’s Law Enforcement Investigative Therapy Dog Course and she was given to the MCSO at no cost.

Since she came to the MCSO in May 2017, Lily has received full certification as a therapy dog and is out working in our community.

Lily’s handler is MCSO’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) Investigative Liaison, Detective Janeen Henley-Freeman. Detective Henley-Freeman and Lily will focus on adult and children DCF investigations, missing persons, sex crimes, child abductions and child exploitation internet crimes assisting the victims of these crimes.

Our goal is for Lily to help victims feel more at ease while speaking about their situation(s).

“We’ve seen an enormous difference since we began using Lily to help us with our more sensitive investigations,” said Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods. “We’ve had children who have experienced horrific crimes open up to us because Lily made them feel comfortable. When Lily walks into a room, she brings a sense of joy and comfort with her, and we know she will make a tremendous difference in the lives of our crime victims in Marion County.” 

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Information via the Marion County Sheriff's Office

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