Charlie is only six months old, but this therapy puppy already has a big job to do.
The golden doodle is the latest addition to the Albany Police Department’s Therapy Dog Program, which also includes therapy dogs Maxie and Finn. Charlie may be the newest therapy dog on the squad, but the puppy has already proven his mettle by helping save a distraught teenager threatening to jump off the roof.
When Charlie’s human partner, Officer Joel Caldwell, was called in to rescue the 14-year-old girl, the New York officer knew he had to bring Charlie along. Not only was the puppy trained to diffuse stressful situations, Officer Caldwell–who works on the department’s crisis negotiation team–had also heard the 14-year-old girl liked dogs.
Officers spent several hours trying to coax the distressed girl off the roof by speaking with her through a nearby window. But it was Charlie’s soothing presence that finally convinced the teenager to come back inside.
“With the help of Charlie, the teen, who was now at the edge of the roof, walked over to the window to meet the puppy and was safely brought inside,” The Albany Police Department explained on Facebook.” What a good boy!
Coincidentally, Charlie’s big save also took place in October, which is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month–and an important reminder to prioritize and support mental health across the country.
Depression affects an estimated 11 million Americans each year, but despite its overwhelming prevalence, many people still don’t get any help. We’re so grateful Charlie and Officer Caldwell were able to help this young girl get the help and support she needs.
Please contact SAMSHA’s confidential 24/7 crisis hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) if you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, depression, or another mental health issue. There is no shame in reaching out for help!Whizzco