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DENVER (KDVR) – Shelby, a 15-month-old black English Labrador retriever, joins the Denver Police Department as the first therapy dog in the department’s pilot pup program.

“We are honored to add Shelby to our ranks today,” said Chief Paul M. Pazen. “Having her on the team and on the streets adds a level of comfort for our residents who may otherwise be hesitant to engage with a police officer. We look forward to connecting with those we serve in a positive manner and for everyone to meet Shelby.”

Shelby will partner up with Community Resource Officer Handler Teresa Gillian. The team will visit schools, meet with senior residents, attend meetings and community events and join outreach efforts in areas impacted by persistent violent crime, according to DPD.

The Denver Police Foundation donated $4,500 to acquire Shelby, to cover handler training and for miscellaneous startup expenses.

Shelby, who is American Kennel Club certified and has formal dog training, recently completed Webb’s K9 Training in California.