Wausau (WAOW) – Every morning Wausau East High School resource officer Nick Stetzer and his partner a 4-year-old Flat Coated Retriever named Badge start patrolling the halls.
Badge’s leash was added to officer Stetzer’s duty belt last October and this upcoming Tuesday will be his very first official start of the year.
“Eventually through a lot of planning and different research we started the program and Badge started in October and ever since then he did all the work,” said Stetzer.
Though Badge spends his day offering cuddles and kisses to the students the therapy dog has done much more.
“We had a student that had barricaded herself in another facility, made comments that she wanted to hurt herself and would not talk to officers,” Stetzer said.”We brought in Badge and it was like a flip of a switch.”
Principal Dr. Brad Peck said he was not sure how the therapy dog program would work at first but now believes Badge is a great asset to the Wausau East community.
“Badge just has this uncanny ability to allow students to feel comfortable and more relaxed he is just a great therapy dog,” Peck said.
Stetzer said though he and Badge patrol the halls during the day, their duty doesn’t just end when the bell rings.
When school is not in session the Wausau Police Department uses Badge when they know they are responding to a house call involving children.
With the success of the therapy dog program at Wausau East the Wausau Police Department added a new dog for Wausau West.
A Labradoodle named Theo will be starting his first day on Tuesday.
The police department is still accepting donations in order to keep up with the costs of the therapy dog programs.
To donate you can click here.