Victim Services – “Trauma K9”

Meet Caber, Canada's first “Trauma K9” working in a victim services setting. With Delta Police's Victim Services Coordinator Kim Gramlich close at hand, Caber is deployed to respond to victims and witnesses of crime in a variety of settings. In his 2.5 years on the job, Caber has helped more than 500 victims.

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Transcript

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Caber is a yellow Labrador Retriever and he is just about five years old.

Caber's job is to provide support and comfort to people who are victims of crime and trauma.”

Screen: Kim Gramlich, Victim Services, Delta Police

“He has worked with adults and of course he's worked with children and in doing so he's responded to domestic violence, sudden death, arson, child sexual assaults. All kinds of crime types and traumatic events.

Two years ago we sadly had a very traumatic event occur where a young girl was murdered in a local park on a lovely Saturday afternoon.”

My friend and my soccer team mate was murdered in the community.”

Screen: Nicole, Friend of victim

“She was, you know, a very innocent victim and it was very devastating for obviously the family, her friends, the local schools and the community at large, as well.

Caber was invited to come into the school, in the neighbouring area where the victim had gone to school, and he was asked to sit by her desk in her absence and just provide comfort, care and support to her fellow students.”

“As soon as everyone saw him they were just swarmed around him and they petted him and he just put a smile on everyone's faces.”

“Then they would begin to talk amongst themselves and before you know it they were having you know really healthy and good conversations about how they were feeling and so on. So it was extremely effective, quite transformational.”

“There's a certain emotion that you get from an animal that you don't get from a human because you feel unconditional love.”

“Dogs don't care what the colour of your skin is, what ethnic background you come from, where you work, how much money you make. They just love you no matter what and people really are susceptible to that affection and love in a very meaningful way.”

“Caber received two and a half years of training from the Pacific Assistance Dog Society otherwise known as PADS. PADS trains, breeds, and raises dogs to provide support to people in various settings and they're actually serving all of Canada now. You know if another agency wanted to start an initiative like this, once they have the in-house support, I would encourage people to go with a school like PADS that has accreditation through Assistance Dogs International. You know they provided Caber to us and he has been everything we possibly needed for this role.”

“It's really inspiring to see Caber be the first dog in Canada that does this and I hope there's going to be a lot more because he really does help children and teenagers and even adults cope through situations.”

“Where do we go from here? In the United States they are using dogs in courthouses, we're hoping to do the same thing here in Canada.

My relationship with Caber, is wonderful. He's my partner, he's with me 24 hours a day, comes to work with me in the morning and goes home with me at the end of the day.

I'm just so incredibly proud of Caber. When you see how touched people are by him and when you have people say to you "this was exactly what I needed" it's touching, it's comforting and the knowledge that we've been able to help in a really powerful way, it's just the greatest feeling ever.”

Screen: Delta Police’s Trauma K-9 was established with support from the Government of Canada.

Screen: In his first 2.5 years on the job, Caber has helped about 500 victims.

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