Two years ago, Mattis was the first therapy K-9 dog for the Franklin County Sheriff's Office. Now he, and the department are helping train others from across the country.
The books are out, students are ready to learn. This is a different kind of class. In this class, it's ok to sleep or drool during the session.
“The fact that this moment is here and we are training other agencies and other handlers and other dogs, to go back and serve their communities in a different way is so rewarding!” said Darrah Metz, with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
Metz is Mattis' handler and says she started the Franklin County Sheriff's program as a different way to reach people.
“Our purpose is to give hope to the hopeless and a voice to the voiceless. There's nothing that compares when you've been asked to go to trial and testimony that a child gives because they are holding the leash of a Kit, Woody or Mattis,” Metz explained.
Now, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office is taking their success and teaching departments across the country. For the first time, they are hosting a canine therapy class and certifying dogs and their handlers.
“I don't think any of us imagined it that way. I think it was always a passion so we built our program the right way so we can share the message and the mission to other agencies because we know this works,” Metz said.
Metz says she's heard all of the neigh-sayers and those who don't believe in the power of the pooch, she says they've seen the success first-paw and will continue to grow their program.
“When that results in justice, conviction, prison time. That to me is still law enforcement, and that is the purpose behind all of this. We are bringing justice to all people,” she said.