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A Canadian First – Hawk the Trauma Dog

Calgary Police Trauma Dog

Hawk the Trauma Dog – Calgary Police

Here’s something I can sink my teeth into. A large step in the understanding of the abilities of our creatures on this great big planet of ours. As an advocate of animals, I am happy to showcase another example of the greater good animals provide. Which brings me to Hawk.

My head wants to call him the ‘Wonder dog’ though you can refer to him as a Calgary Police dog and even better than that his title is a ‘Trauma Dog.’ Hawk started his career in October of 2013, and just over a year later he is helping a very little girl with one of the toughest moments in her life.

She had some play dates with Hawk, the Labrador Retreiver and his ‘animal spirit’ of ‘unconditional acceptance’ rose right to the top. He walks past others and goes straight to her in the court room. He just knows where he is needed.

“When you’re dealing with young kids who have been victimized by adults it’s hard for them to connect to another adult, but suddenly something magical happens when a dog like Hawk makes his appearance. I mean it’s just immediate trust. There’s things that can be done through animals, through dogs, that just can’t be done no matter how hard we try as people,” said Chief Rick Hanson of the Calgary Police Force.

It’s a Canadian first, and Ellen O’Neill-Stephens, the founder of Courthouse Dogs came up with the idea of pairing victims of crimes and dogs about a decade ago. It is already popular in the US and I am hoping it will become more prominent in the world. This REALTOR hopes that alongside the greater service needs from Earths friendly creatures will come greater rights. Right as this is going on; there is a Canadian movement to change the laws for animals, because without the law behind the issue there is little to no recourse for how abusers and oppressors are dealt with.

The Animal Charter is premised on the recognition that animals experience suffering and pleasure in a way that is not biologically distinguishable from that of humans; that discrimination on the basis of arbitrary characteristics—like species—is a violation of equity, natural justice and the rule of law; and that our legal system must not exclude the most vulnerable members of society.

It is a telling comment on the western world that legislation for the prevention of cruelty to animals (started with horses) predated protection of children in most areas. A century ago in England, eight- and nine-year-old children were forced to work longer hours in the coal mines than the pit mules, which were protected by law. In 1884, John Colam, Secretary of the RSPCA, helped to form the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

I wish that neither the Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals or the Society for the prevention of cruelty to children had to exist in this world. Perhaps this type of pairing is exactly what the world needs to witness, to learn how to speak up and prevent cruelty to both.

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