MEET CHIP! C.F. Police Welcome First Therapy Dog to the Force
new, lovable pup is ready to make his mark on the community
Chip is a 12-week-old Labradoodle with a mellow personality and a love for slumber. He was recently donated to the Chippewa Falls Police Department by a western Wisconsin breeder, Blueberry Cottage Labradoodles.
Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm wanted to spearhead the project and bring the benefits of a therapy dog to their team. “I would say the biggest benefit of a therapy dog is the way they create positive engagements with our officers, and especially with children,” Kelm said.
Chip’s handler, Joan Mattheisen, will be with him every step of the way, starting with puppy obedience training to getting him certified as an official therapy dog. Chip will qualify for certification once he’s at least one year old.
Once certified, Chip will be available to support the community in cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, mental health crises, and child protective services.
“His purpose is threefold,” Mattheisen said. “He will provide a sense of comfort and positivity to not only those affected by traumatic events but also to the law enforcement officers and community as a whole.”
Unlike Leo, CFPD’s dual apprehension dog, you won’t find Chip assisting police with suspect searches, missing persons cases, or sniffing out substances. However, when he is on the job, you may spot him wearing a spiffy blue-and-black vest marking him as a therapy dog.
Chip is owned by the City of Chippewa Falls, which inspired his name. The department wanted to tie his name back to the community they serve, and although he lives with Mattheisen, everyone will be part of Chip’s journey in the Chippewa Valley.
“He’s a goofball,” Mattheisen said. “He’s very approachable, even keel, and loves kids.”
Thanks to Ruff Life Pet Hotel and Kindness Animal Hospital, all of Chip’s food, grooming, boarding, and vet expenses are covered.
If you’d like to keep up with Chip and follow along on his new journey, check out the CFPD’s Facebook page.