Livonia police purchase department’s first therapy dog

Cooper, a new therapy dog for the Livonia Police Department, taking a break after a busy morning in August 2022.

Cooper, a 14-week-old goldendoodle, is still learning the ropes at his new gig.

In a year’s time, Cooper will aid the Livonia Police Department by bringing comfort to people interacting with police and being there for officers who’ve responded to a difficult call. But for now, the pup will spend the first year of his life getting acclimated to the department, its staff and the community.

“Anyone who’s suffered from a traumatic event, is testifying in court or is nervous about something, we’ll bring him to them,” said Sgt. Stacy Hayne, Cooper’s handler. “We’ll have him be pet by them, and that instantly calms them down.”

Hayne expects Cooper will be great for children interacting with police, and he’ll be visiting some of the local schools in early September. Cooper will likely be a fixture of any event the department holds, as well.

The therapy dog programs in Oakland County, Birmingham and Bloomfield Township inspired Hayne to propose one in Livonia. She thinks having a therapy dog will pair especially well with the social worker Livonia police hired last year.

Livonia Police Sergeant Stacy Hayne, Cooper's handler, said her family loves having a dog in the house.

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Cooper’s training will take place over two weeks in October, and he’ll be eligible for certification when he’s a year old. Hayne thinks having a Goldendoodle as a therapy dog will be a good fit as the breed is known for being friendly, easy to train and hypoallergenic.

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