TAZEWELL, VA (WVNS) — The Tazewell County 911 center welcomes a new hire — with four legs and a tail! The little puppy has a very big job to do.
911 dispatchers are the first point of contact for people in crisis. Edwinna Cecil is a communications specialist at the 911 center. She answers emergency calls daily.
“A lot of people don’t realize how stressful this job can be,” said Cecil.
The work takes a huge toll on dispatchers and many experience post-traumatic stress disorder. However, one very special member of their team is making even their heaviest days a little lighter.
Lt. operations manager, Randy Ann Davis, said, “This puppy came along and he is very much a part of it. He’s very helpful for our dispatchers. We have stressful work. He lightens all of our days there’s never a moment when his tail is not wagging.”
His former owners surrendered the 8-week-old lab mix to the sheriffs office. Dispatchers fell in love and adopted him. They work together to take care of him here at the 911 center, but really he is the one taking care of them.
“If we have a bad call, you cant be upset when you see something this precious,” said Cecil. “It helps calm everybody down. The whole atmosphere has changed since he’s been here.”
As the official 911 dispatcher service dog, he will not only provide emotional support, but attend events, visit schools and become an ambassador for 911.
“He’s a stress therapy dog,” said Davis. “He is doing an awesome job he’s been at it about a week and he is growing very quickly, he is very smart.”
The once-abandoned puppy has a new home, a big family, and a very important job. Now, he just needs a name.
Dispatchers want your help choosing a name for the puppy! The options are Mischief, Rookie, Taser, or Creed.
You can vote for your favorite name on the Tazewell County Virginia Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. Votes will be counted at three Monday afternoon.