Sheriff Casey Salisbury is pleased to announce the Mason County Sheriff’s Office Education Dog Program. This program was implemented for the purpose of educating the community about safe behavior around dogs, animal education, and bullying.
For the past year Animal Control Officer Cindy Brewer used her own Great Dane, Sam as a teaching tool. During the last year Officer Brewer made over 2,000 contacts utilizing Sam to open dialog about safe behavior around dogs, proper animal care, and bullying in the schools. Officer Brewer and Sam participated in bullying programs at Pioneer Middle School, Hood Canal School and North Mason Schools in Belfair. Officer Brewer has also provided training to PUD employees who often encounter aggressive dogs. This program has proven a valuable teaching method in the prevention of bullying and may have reduced the number of animal bite complaints received by the Sheriff’s Office.
Sam died recently, diminishing Officer Brewer’s ability to connect with students. Sheriff Salisbury decided to formalize the education dog program by purchasing our newest K-9 Sheriff’s Office member, Jack.
Jack is also a Great Dane who is 16 weeks old and weighs 55 pounds. When Jack is fully grown he will weigh an estimated 150 pounds. According to Officer Brewer, “A Great Dane is ideally suited as an education dog. They are large and command people’s attention. They have a great disposition and are well suited to mingle with large numbers of people.” This dog will leave a long lasting impression on all who encounter him. Recently on a visit to schools in the North Mason School District, Officer Brewer was contacted by several students who wanted to see “the big dog.”
The Education Dog Program, like the other Mason County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Programs, is financed primarily by donations from private parties and non profit organizations. Dr. Gary Olson, Shelton Veterinary Hospital, has agreed to provide veterinary services for Jack as he does for the department’s other K-9s.
Sheriff Casey Salisbury said “Officer Brewer has done an outstanding job with the Education Dog Program. I know this program will pay dividends by educating our citizens and children.”