His name is Sgt. Fuzz — and he’s ready for cuddle duty 🚓
Police have long been known as “the fuzz” — but one department in Minnesota has taken it quite literally.
Late last year, Officer Kathryn Smith of the St. Paul Police Department was called out to a local farm because a stray mother dog and her puppies had been hanging around the property for a few days. She went out to the scene to bring them to safety, and ended up adopting one of the puppies, later named Fuzz, in the process.
But at the department office, the 5-month-old pup is now best known as Sgt. Fuzz.
“Our chief brings his dog, Stella, in on Fridays, so we thought it’d be nice to have the puppy come in here and there, too,” John Lozoya, senior commander of community engagement for the department, told The Dodo. “He was an instant hit with everyone.”
Since they often deal with high-stress situations on the job, the officers and staff members found that visits from 5-month-old Fuzz gave them a small break to focus on something happy.
The department decided to hire Fuzz as its “cuddle officer,” working part-time at about 10 hours per week while his mom is there. He spends his days greeting staff members, playing ball and, of course, cuddling.
“He’s very playful but also loves to be cuddled,” Lozoya said. “His personality is very welcoming. He’ll lay down and let anyone pet him right away. He’s a very mellow puppy.”
Due to his calm and sweet disposition, the department is planning to enroll Fuzz in a therapy dog certification program once he’s old enough so he can help even more people.
“We hope one day, when he is a certified therapy dog, he can not only assist with our staff but also with people who have been victimized and are in need of support,” Lozoya said.
Until then, Fuzz is loving all the attention — and will be making regular appearances at community events sponsored by the department.
“Since the beginning of police and fire departments, animals have always been with us,” Lozoya said. “He’s sort of this new evolution to a working police canine, who just happens to look like a fluffy teddy bear.”