New canine deputy provides comfort to trauma victims

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The Brunswick County Sheriff's Office "swore" in its newest deputy Tuesday in a Red Vest Ceremony.

The deputy has four legs, is only 2 years old and covered in fur. His name is Boulder, and while he may just look like a pretty pup, his mission is great.

"Boulder is a crisis facility response dog. He goes to crime scenes, trauma scenes and comforts victims in distress," said Sgt. T.K. Nowell, Boulder's handler.

Paws 4 People says this is the only crisis facility response dog in the entire state as far as they know. He will calm victims of domestic violence, trauma, sexual abuse and other crimes.

Boulder started his training at 3 days old, working with prison inmates, learning discipline and over 100 commands.

Then he made his trek to Wilmington and finished his training with Nowell with the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office and Paws 4 People.

"He is an instant stress relief to our office," Sheriff John Ingram said. "He has really taken our agency up to another level."

The department has bomb sniffing dogs and narcotics dogs, but Boulder's mission is simple: to comfort victims of crisis in addition to calming his fellow co-workers within the sheriff's office.

"We utilize him with the deputies and our 911 call center," Nowell explained. "They handle so many traumatic calls, suicides, bad accidents. It's all very stressful, so he goes in and brings their stress and anxiety down."

Boulder will also be a vital part of the Brunswick County community, engaging with students, attending parades and festivals and other community engagement opportunities.

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