Chester County Sheriff’s Office welcomes new four-legged deputy
● By Steven Hoffman
Chester County Sheriff Carolyn Bunny Welsh welcomes a new four-legged deputy, Melody, to her office’s K-9 unit. Melody’s appointment within the office is to serve as a “comfort” dog in courtroom circumstances where she can help to ease the stress experienced by children and others who may be facing difficult situations.
“We have been researching the options of a comfort dog for more than a year, and have found a perfect match with Melody – or ‘Mel’ as she likes to be called,” said Chester County Sheriff Carolyn Bunny Welsh.
Melody, a Labrador-Golden Retriever mix, has had two years of training with the Seeing Eye organization based in Morristown, New Jersey. Chester County Deputy Sheriff and master trainer Paul Bryant sourced and “recruited” Melody. “Mel was initially bred and trained to help people, but rather than being a Seeing Eye service dog, she will be helping people in a different way,” noted Bryant.
Once acclimated to the Chester County Justice Center and court offices, Mel will come to work every day and will be available whenever needed. “We are very excited to offer this kind of therapy to children and others in need of comfort during stressful times that can sometimes be a part of the judicial system,” added Sheriff Welsh.
Mel joins the Chester County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit, which includes German Shepherds trained in tracking, drug detection, explosives detection and cadaver or human remains detection. She will be handled during the day by deputies and civilians within the office. Mel currently resides with Welsh until a handler is selected. “I may have a hard time giving her up to anyone. She has a very loving and gentle disposition and has already become part of the family!”