NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office has a new member joining the team -- its first comfort dog.
Tank comes from an organization called Patriot Service Dogs that typically pairs dogs with military veterans.
Tank is 2 years old and has been with the Sheriff’s Office for a month.
“He’s definitely the center of attention and the star,” said Lt. Renee Graham, Tank’s handler.
He is already doing his job well. Tank comforts Nassau County deputies at the office and on emergencies.
“When you’re having a bad day, Tank can come in and brighten up your day and just make things better,” said Sheriff Bill Leeper.
Leeper welcomed Tank to the family to not only help deputies deal with stressful situations but also victims in the field.
“If we can just pull away from that for a second and not think about something bad that happened, every little bit will help,” said Graham.
She is seeing Tank’s personality shine brighter and brighter each day.
“You see him, you can’t help but just want to love on him, rub his neck, rub his ears,” Graham said. “If that, just for a minute, can take a little bit of stress and attention away from my typical workday, then it’s worth it.”
Mike Applebaum is with Patriot Service Dogs, the organization that placed Tank with the Sheriff’s Office after he was trained by inmates at Lowell Correctional Institute, which is a women’s prison in Ocala.
“We feel Tank’s special characteristics will get him to be involved with the community,” Appelbaum said. “He’ll be able to do the types of service work he was trained with, and he will also be able to really affect even more veterans and more people.”
Tank and Nassau County deputies seem like the perfect match.
“I think he’s adapting beautifully,” Applebaum said.
“When you see him, you just light up,” Leeper said. “You smile when you see Tank. He has that effect on other people and he certainly has an effect on us.”
Patriot Service Dogs was established in 2009. It places more than 50 dogs in new homes each year.