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National OK9 network: East of England and London

Say ‘hello’ to the OK9 wellbeing and trauma support dogs and their handlers in police forces in the East of England and London.

These dogs are all members of the national OK9 wellbeing and trauma support dog network and are able to attend the aftermath of a major incident to support those affected by trauma. They also get the opportunity to attend national events and to support our wellbeing outreach service. 

Luna

Luna sitting on grass looking at the camera wearing her OK9 wellbeing dog jacket

 

  • Breed: Pedigree Black Labrador Retriever
  • Likes: Loves a back scratch
  • Favourite toy: Blue Kong Ball
  • Character / traits: Attention seeker - loves fuss and attention
  • Favourite food: She loves cheese and freshly cooked chicken

Luna's handler is PC Wayne Softley. Wayne is the wellbeing coordinator for Beds, Cambs, and Herts collaborated joint protective services. He has been a police officer for 21 years mostly within the roads policing unit as a constable, collision investigator, and family liaison officer.

Wayne said: "I am thrilled to join the OK9 team, I have had five bookings already and I’m only just up and running so I’m really looking forward to making a difference, My dog Luna is a tornado of energy and loves her fuss and playtime."

Holly

Holly the Labrador sitting on grass wearing a poppy bandana and her OK9 wellbeing dog jacket

 

  • Breed: Labrador
  • Likes: Cuddles and playing chase
  • Favourite toy: Cuddly Monkey
  • Character / traits: Has the best smile and puppy dog eyes
  • Favourite food: Can hear a cheese wrapper from a mile away, so has to be cheese

Holly’s handler PC Paul Roe has 28 years police service, 11 years starting with British Transport Police and then moving to Cambridgeshire in 2005.

Paul was diagnosed with trauma-related PTSD four years ago, and this is where Holly came into herself and they both started their journey on recovery and now actively promote PTSD in the emergency services and that 'it's OK not to be OK'.

Holly is a seven-year-old Labrador who is owned by Paul and is now fully accredited to the OK9 wellbeing dog project. Holly loves to give 'Paws Time' to officers and staff - well anyone she comes across.

Dexter

Dexter the OK9 wellbeing dog looking at the camera

 

  • Breed: Black Labrador
  • Likes: Meeting people, being fussed, walks, food and sleep
  • Favourite toy: Duck Teddy
  • Character / traits: Helping himself to tennis balls from Dad's rucksack
  • Favourite food: Lily's Kitchen organic range

PC Michael Sheather from the Met's dog support unit is his handler. Together they've completed nearly 150 wellbeing tasks and signposted 18 officers who needed support with their mental health. 

Mike said: “I have been a police officer for 28 years, during this time I have experienced challenges to my own mental fitness, caused by incidents/events that took place in and out of work. These experiences are what drives me to help others.”