The newest addition to the Greenville County Sheriff's Office is a golden doodle named "Willow" who is already stealing hearts throughout the community.
She's also hard at work making stress a little lighter for deputies in the Specialized Investigations Division.
"It's just cool to see that now investigators come in in the morning, they'll come in the office and lay on the floor with her... it's just lightened the mood. " said Sgt. Eric Whaley, GCSO SID.
The investigators in SID handle some of the worst crimes including those against children.
When Sgt. Whaley saw how weekly visits from therapy dogs helped his fellow deputies, he and his wife decided to foot the bill to bring Willow on permanently.
"Since I went through my struggles, our family and we know some other deputies that did. This is just our way of giving back to the younger generation that's coming up and help them," said Whaley.
Whaley is getting a lot of help too.
The owner of The Noble Dog Hotel, Jen Hanna, offered free therapy dog training for Willow through her non-profit Canine Healing.
"She's already providing therapy all you have to do is hold her and you just feel it," said Hanna.
Certified trainer, Dina Bradshaw agreed that Willow is ready for her new role.
"She's very well balanced, she's very happy and she's very loved... Her parents and then also the coworkers that they have at the sheriff's department are giving her a great start," said Bradshaw.
Hanna also got Greenville based companies Paw Paws and Snoozer Pet Products to donate bling and beds to Willow for life. She also got Nature's Select to provide Willow's food.
"Having two therapy dogs and seeing what they have done and the joy that they bring to other people, I knew that we needed to be a part of this program," said Hanna.
Sgt. Whaley said he couldn't be more thankful for the support of the local businesses, the sheriff's office and his wife for supporting this new program and Willow.
"My wife too, because she has to put up with us too. We're just very blessed, very blessed," said Sgt. Whaley.
Willow isn't costing the taxpayers much. Sergeant Whaley and his wife agreed to lease her to the sheriff's office for $1 every year.
Hanna said Willow should be fully trained in about six months. She is also working to get vet services donated to the Whaley's to cut down on their expenses.
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