National OK9 network: South East

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

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. 


Baloo sitting on grass wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket


  • Breed: Belgian Malinois
  • Likes: CaniCross running with his friends at Tailrunners
  • Favourite toy: Any ball
  • Character / traits: Cuddles, all day long
  • Favourite food: Fish

Baloo's handler is Mandy Chapman, a retired Met Police dog handler who works as a volunteer with Essex Police.


Cassie sitting on grass wearing her OK9 wellbeing dog jacket


  • Breed: Retriever
  • Likes: Anything she can retrieve, cuddles, and she loves laying with Claude
  • Favourite toy: Squeaky hedgehogs
  • Character / traits: Cassie and Claude love to share their toys and ideally see themselves as lapdogs (Cassie Is 26kg, Claude is nearly 30kg - they are not lapdogs)
  • Favourite food: Royal Canin, chicken, and a piece of banana 

Cassie and Claude are ready to walk and play 24/7. Cassie is the quieter of the two dogs, more gentle and softer in nature. Claude is more like a teenage boy, into everything and not aware of personal boundaries as he sits on your lap. 

As a double act, they love chasing each other. Cassie is faster than Claude and normally has no trouble catching him after which a friendly bundle normally ensues. 


Claude sitting on grass looking at the camera wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket


  • Breed: Retriever
  • Likes: Anything he can retrieve, cuddles, and he loves laying with Cassie
  • Favourite toy: Squeaky hedgehogs
  • Character / traits: Claude and Cassie love to share their toys and ideally see themselves as lapdogs (Cassie Is 26kg, Claude is nearly 30kg - they are not lapdogs)
  • Favourite food: Royal Canin, chicken, and a piece of banana 

Cassie and Claude are ready to walk and play 24/7. Cassie is the quieter of the two dogs, more gentle and softer in nature. Claude is more like a teenage boy, into everything and not aware of personal boundaries as he sits on your lap. 

As a double act, they love chasing each other. Cassie is faster than Claude and normally has no trouble catching him after which a friendly bundle normally ensues. 


Rex sitting on grass wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket


  • Breed: Dutch Herder
  • Likes: CaniCross running with his friends at Tailrunners
  • Favourite toy: Rugby ball
  • Character / traits: Being with his owners every moment
  • Favourite food: Smelly tripe sticks

Rex's handler is Mandy Chapman, a retired Met Police dog handler who works as a volunteer with Essex Police.


Daisy the English Springer Spaniel sitting on the beach looking at the camera


  • Breed: English Springer Spaniel
  • Likes: Digging in the sand
  • Favourite toy: Obsessed with her tennis ball
  • Character / traits: Very friendly and loves everyone

Daisy lives on the Isle of Wight with her handler who is a police chaplain. Whether it's an early shift briefing, late evening visit, or quiet one-to-one, she knows she is guaranteed a biscuit treat and lots of attention, whilst giving whoever she meets the chance to switch off from the pressure of their work. 


Diego the Golden Retriever sitting in front of a police car


  • Breed: Golden Retriever
  • Likes: Cuddles, water, and mud
  • Favourite toy: His duvet and showing it off to guests
  • Character / traits: Loves meeting new people, very chilled out, very gentle but confident - those that meet him, love him
  • Favourite food: Anything - dog biscuits, dog treats, hairy cows ears, sprats (dried or raw), eggs, cheese, and the odd seatbelt

Diego's handler is Dan Whittington. Dan said: "I am an E-Shift Supervisor in PCR. It’s a privilege to be an OK9 dog handler.  Seeing the reaction any dog gets that visits PCR shows what a boost in morale they provide. So to see my own dog provide that, as well as to the wider force, gives me a real sense of pride. Diego is a big softy with an even bigger smile.  He loves meeting people and enjoys his days out in new places."


Merlin sitting looking at the camera wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket


  • Breed: German Shepherd and Bernese cross (mixed breed)
  • Likes: Cuddles, cuddles, and more cuddles
  • Favourite toy: A Christmas brussel sprout toy
  • Character / traits: A big bear with a soft heart - likes to think he is the boss but is a big lap dog who loves everyone he meets.
  • Favourite food: Rabbit ears and cheese

Alex Thompson is a wellbeing support caseworker at Hampshire Constabulary. Working with officers/staff with complex and long-term conditions and supporting long-term sickness cases. She remains a registered occupational therapist with previous roles specialising in mental health hospitals.

Alex said: “I love being an OK9 handler. What is better than your main colleague being your own dog? The difference Merlin makes to others and just changes the vibe of a working environment - amazing. We haven’t had any negative feedback, just even more requests.”


Mia sitting in a field wearing her OK9 wellbeing dog jacket


  • Breed: Cockapoo
  • Likes: Cuddles and lots of attention
  • Favourite toy: Lion or pink bear
  • Character / traits: Energetic, caring, welcoming dog - happy to play or just chill and sleep
  • Favourite food: Duck, and any treats

PC Neil Nancarrow is Mia's handler. Neil said: "My wife Kate suggested we enrol Mia as a wellbeing dog, and we both now cover wellbeing visits with Mia, across Hampshire. Mia is a very caring and affectionate dog who craves attention.

"I have seen so much positivity from everyone she sees, the feedback has been amazing. Turning up on Christmas day to the control room was fantastic. The support from my line managers has also been brilliant allowing me to take Mia into work to support officers and staff. It is a privilege to be able to support OK9."


Molly the Norfolk Terrier wearing her OK9 wellbeing dog jacket


  • Breed: Norfolk Terrier
  • Likes: Meeting people and playing ball
  • Favourite toy: Bouncy ball
  • Character / traits: Consistently friendly
  • Favourite food: Liver

"My name is Peter MacPherson. I am a volunteer police chaplain for Hampshire as well as being Molly’s handler. It’s a privilege to be able to share Molly as a wellbeing dog. Her visits are always well received and she regularly makes a difference to those that she meets enabling some worthwhile 'wellbeing' moments."


Rocco standing looking away from the camera wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket


  • Breed: Doberman
  • Likes: Meeting people and earning treats
  • Favourite toy: Squeaky toy
  • Character / traits: Consistently friendly with a tail that's always wagging
  • Favourite food: Chicken

"My name is Peter MacPherson, I am a volunteer police chaplain for Hampshire as well as being Rocco’s handler. It’s great to be able to share Rocco as a wellbeing dog. He has just completed his assessment after following in Molly’s footsteps for the past few months. We re-homed Rocco in Nov 21. Whilst he is only just starting to make visits they are always well received and he is clearly learning quickly from Molly."


Scout is a German Shepherd. She is sitting in front of a police car looking away from the camera and is wearing her OK9 wellbeing dog jacket.


  • Breed: German Shepherd
  • Likes: Being fussed
  • Favourite toy: Tennis balls
  • Character / traits: Far too intelligent for her own good
  • Favourite food: Anything she can pinch from a kitchen side

Alex Carter is Scout's handler. Alex is a controller for Hampshire, and feels privileged to work in this role.

Alex said: "Dogs have the ability to break through emotionally difficult situations and provide a welcome break from the pressures of policing. The joy Scout brings into our workplaces is invaluable, and it is a pleasure to see."


Toby sitting on grass in his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket


  • Breed: Cavalier Kings Charles Spaniel
  • Likes: He loves different adventures, beach walks, and family holidays
  • Favourite toy: He loves playing with and chasing tennis balls, and has a toy box full of squeaky toys as well
  • Character / traits: Placid, tolerant, and easy-going little boy, loves cuddles
  • Favourite food: Only eats dog food, one meal a day (and dog treats throughout the day) – never had human food

Toby has just become a wellbeing and trauma dog. His owner and handler is Bob Stafford from contact management. Bob and his family rehomed him when he was 18 months old during the pandemic lockdown when Bob’s wife was also dealing with trauma. Bob said: "Toby excelled in this role which is why he loves being an OK9 dog and we both feel privileged to be able to help when the need arises."


OK9 wellbeing dog Honey lying on a chair looking away from the camera


  • Breed: English Springer Spaniel
  • Likes: Soft toy box, and having a fuss
  • Favourite toy: Any soft toy
  • Character / traits: Calm, relaxed, likes attention
  • Favourite food: Sausages/chipolatas

Sharn Eagar is Honey's owner. Sharn said: "Honey was bred by the Metropolitan Police Service and sold to Kent Police with a view to her becoming a working police dog. She, unfortunately, did not quite make the standard for this and as a former Kent Police puppy walker, I was asked if I wished to take her on full-time as my own pet dog. I couldn’t refuse and so in April 2017, I took ownership of her.

"I have an excellent understanding from first hand experience of the problems and issues that serving police officers and police staff encounter during their working and personal lives and when approached to become involved in the wellbeing dog programme leapt at the chance to help."


Benson the Cocker Spaniel standing in a field looking at the camera


  • Breed: Cocker Spaniel
  • Likes: Loves meeting people, playing with dogs, and chasing birds
  • Favourite toy: A ball 'Squeekie'
  • Character / traits: Just generally noisy
  • Favourite food: Anything meaty, cheese, banana, and bran flakes

Benson belongs to Anna and Tom, who work for Northants Police. Anna said: “Benson really has brought us so much love and happiness through some very dark times, which is why I know he will help to lift the spirits of those in our force who have to deal with the most horrific things every day and I’m so glad we can be a part of that. People with dogs always say they are a member of the family, but you never truly understand that until you have one.”


Headshot of Buster the Lhasa Apso lying on the floor


  • Breed: Lhasa Apso
  • Likes: Fuss, and belly rubs
  • Character / traits: His cuteness wins him many friends
  • Favourite food: Bacon sandwiches - he'll do anything for a treat

Buster's owner, Superintendent Emily Vernon said: “When he is around, the atmosphere immediately changes, with people keen to interact with him which in turn reduces feelings of stress and anxiety. 

"Wellbeing is incredibly important in the workplace and particularly so after the challenges of COVID-19, and it is heart-warming to see the positive impact Buster is already having on everyone around him.”


Cooper the Chocolate Labrador sitting on the ground looking at the camera


  • Breed: Chocolate Labrador
  • Likes: Getting fussed, chasing a ball, and exploring new places
  • Favourite toy: Terrance the Triceratops
  • Character / traits: Loves meeting people
  • Favourite food: Anything he can get his paws on, and bananas

Cooper’s handler is Chris Howard, he said: “We rehomed Cooper six years ago now, and he is the most amazing addition to our family. He is constantly happy, and people often comment on his 'smile'. I wanted to share some of his love with others in the hope it helps with other people’s wellbeing and brings them just as much joy as he does to his family.”


Wheaten Terrier Honey wearing her OK9 wellbeing dog jacket


  • Breed: Wheaten Terrier
  • Likes: People, chin scratches, and chasing squirrels
  • Favourite toy: Collects shoes to cuddle
  • Character / traits: Very chilled, obedient, inquisitive, happy, and cheerful
  • Favourite food: Raw dog food

Carol has worked for Northants Police since 1995 mainly in the identification unit.

Carol said: "We re-homed Honey in 2019 and really struck gold. She has an amazing temperament and character and is so suited to being a wellbeing and trauma dog. The few visits we have done so far she has really turned heads – literally – and brought offices to a standstill. People’s hard exteriors just melt and they start chatting, completely at ease."


Molly the Springer Spaniel sitting on wooden floor looking at handler


  • Breed: Springer Spaniel
  • Likes: Treats, walks, and tummy rubs
  • Favourite toy: Tennis balls
  • Character / traits: Adorable personality
  • Favourite food: Starbucks Puppuccinos

Molly’s handler is Alice Copley. Alice said, “I was keen to get involved with the OK9 scheme because one of my strengths is engaging with people in the workplace during difficult times and supporting them in a peer or supervisory capacity.

"Molly has such an adorable personality and is loved by so many people that meet her. So when the opportunity to combine these two elements arose, I felt that we could contribute to the workplace in this way.”


Ottie the Working Cocker Spaniel sitting on a wooden floor looking at the camera


  • Breed: Working Cocker Spaniel
  • Likes: Invading personal space and stealing socks
  • Favourite toy: Tennis balls
  • Character / traits: Loves to meet people
  • Favourite food: Salmon

"My name is Becky Davis and I’m a neighbourhood officer within Northants Police. I volunteer as an OK9 handler as I love to see the joy a little furry face brings to people. I know personally how much a pet can improve your mood and mental health so wanted others to feel the benefit. Ottie loves meeting new people and all the fuss she receives."


OK9 wellbeing dog Ronnie looking at the camera


  • Breed: Mixed
  • Likes: Cuddles, sleeping, and bouncy balls
  • Favourite toy: Jeff the teddy bear
  • Character / traits: Handsome but cheeky - will eat your socks
  • Favourite food: Chicken and Pâté

"I’m Rhiannan Turner and I work in the citizens in policing team for Northamptonshire. Being an 0K9 handler is fantastic, Ronnie has such a loving nature it's perfect for him.

"It’s great to see how happy the staff are when he walks in, you can see the difference in people, and they often don’t want him to leave. It’s a great break for people and offers a moment to relax, Ronnie loves it too."  


Theodore wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket standing next to his certificate


  • Breed: Chow Chow
  • Likes: Cheese and Starbucks Puppuccinos
  • Favourite toy: Doesn't have one
  • Character / traits: Stubborn as a mule but his smile is infectious
  • Favourite food: Cheese and anything else I happen to be eating

"I am Tanya, Theodore's handler. In my day job, I am front counter supervisor for Norpol and have 16 staff based at six stations. Theodore is five now and we have had him since a baby floofball of 16 weeks.

"He brings smiles to people's faces wherever we go. Having suffered with depression for over 20 years, I wanted my story to help others and as Theodore has helped me, I know he can help them too."


Barney the Cavapoochon wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket is sitting on grass looking at the camera


  • Breed: Cavapoochon
  • Likes: Attention, cuddles, sunshine, and cheese
  • Favourite toy: His yellow squeaky ball
  • Character / traits: Barney is both chilled and a bit lively depending on his mood, he will sleep for hours and enjoys plenty of attention often sitting at your feet nudging you to be stroked
  • Favourite food: All the meats and cheese

Barney's handler is James Ansell, a detective inspector responsible for Surrey Police's proactive teams on North Surrey. James said:

"It is my absolute pleasure being an OK handler, seeing the joy on colleagues faces when Barney comes in is great. He is great for a morale boost, and I think the team are more excited to see him than they are me."

Captain Monty

Captain Monty sitting on grass wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket


  • Breed: Dorgi (Dachshund and Corgi cross with a bit of Border Collie)
  • Likes: Snuggles, snacks, and playing with his toys
  • Favourite toy: Tennis balls - he is obsessed
  • Character / traits: He’s such a friendly boy, very good at reading the room, is very relaxed when visiting teams, and saves his playfulness for his break times
  • Favourite food: Hotdogs and venison

Angela MacSharry is the force mental health advisor at Surrey Police and a special constable.

Angela said: "In my day job I deal with the operational side of policing in relation to 136’s and any mental health jobs that may need reviewing. I regularly attend briefings to support our officers around mental health incidents and deliver training to teams around the subject matter.

"Captain Monty has been a very big hit with teams he has visited and has been asked to come back several times! He comes with me when I carry out my day job and so gets to visit lots of teams. Seeing the smile he brings to people’s faces is fabulous."


  • Breed: F1 Cockapoo
  • Likes: Outdoors and meeting new people
  • Favourite toy: Squeaky duck
  • Character / traits: Very social, loves giving and getting affection, also has a love hate with squirrels (loves to chase them, hates that he is too slow, and they outwit him)

Charlie's handler is Chris Smith has is approaching 28 years' service all within Surrey Police in a variety of roles. Chris said:

"I have been a supervisor approaching 14 years. I think Charlie and I can offer something in the wellbeing arena in support of the excellent work already being done to great effect and look forward to getting us out there and meeting colleagues. 

"Charlie is a bundle of fun and affection. As a cockapoo, he has his moments of absolute carnage but most of the time is happy to sit, say hello and then sleep under the nearest desk after rummaging through the last C/Supt lunch bag."


  • Breed: Cockerpoo
  • Likes: Darcy loves a cup of tea
  • Favourite toy: Her ball
  • Character / traits: She is cheeky, where there is food you will find her
  • Favourite food: Chicken and salmon

Darcy's handler is Nicky a CCTV operator at Reigate Police Station who has worked for Surrey Police for 23 years.

Nicky said: "Darcy is a friendly little cockerpoo. She is 10 years old but still thinks she is a puppy. I think Darcy will make a difference as she loves being stroked and will be a lovely distraction."


Small curly brown haired dog sitting on the floor looking happy


  • Breed: Cockapoo
  • Likes: Being involved in everything
  • Favourite toy: Her balls
  • Character / traits: Loving, fun, loyal, curious and calm
  • Favourite food: Food in general

Emmie's handler is Clare Nicholls. Clare said:

"I have worked for Surrey Police for 15 years, 13 years as an investigating officer and two as an evidential reviewer. I am a wellbeing SPOC, force mediator and defuser.  Emmie has the perfect mix of a fun-loving nature, energy, curiosity and enjoyment of strokes from all folks, to make a positive impact on anyone’s day.

"I value connecting with friends, family, colleagues and those I come into contact with throughout my day. Seeing faces light up as Emmie approaches people for a stroke, provides a welcome sense of calm in a busy world."


Labrador Evie looking at the camera wearing her OK9 wellbeing dog jacket


  • Breed: Labrador
  • Likes: Playing fetch with a ball, eating chicken, meeting other dogs and humans
  • Favourite toy: Tennis ball and Mr Banana
  • Character / traits: Intelligent, friendly, loyal, and loves meeting new people
  • Favourite food: Chicken and cheese

Evie's handler is Insp Jackie Brock. "I am currently working as a PACE custody inspector at Salfords Custody Suite in Surrey.  I have 27 years service with the last 15 years as an Inspector. I am and have been a detective inspector, (SIO) CID/public protection, response inspector, and borough commander. 

"As an OK9 dog handler, I enjoy helping and supporting colleagues with the challenges of working in the police and when appropriate signposting them to internal and external support networks.

"Evie is a seven-year-old black lab who is extremely intelligent, docile, and affectionate. She enjoys nothing more than a game of fetch or having a quiet cuddle and enjoys meeting people."  


Headshot of Ki the Labrador sitting on grass


  • Breed: Labrador
  • Likes: Cuddles
  • Character / traits: Calm and happy

Ki is handled by PC Sean Burridge and is owned by Sean’s parents. Sean has been responsible for setting up and launching the wellbeing dog scheme in Surrey. He has been a constable for 22 years, he has served on both response and dog section and is now the wellbeing consultant for Surrey and Sussex Police.


Murphy the White Labrador sitting looking at the camera wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket


  • Breed: White Labrador
  • Likes: Hanging with my besties
  • Favourite toy: Shoes
  • Character / traits: Every second not being stroked is going to be a problem
  • Favourite food: Socks

Murphy's handler is Maria Mackey. Maria said: "I’ve been a police chaplain for five years and currently support the response teams at the Woking Civic Centre. I’ve been an owner of Labs for over 30 years and have seen first-hand how they provide a positive influence on my own mental health and those around me.

"Murphy is a male Labrador, vigorous but good-natured, gentle and sociable (just keep your lunch box hidden)."


Polly is a Retriever. She is sitting on grass looking at the camera and is wearing her OK9 wellbeing dog jacket.


  • Breed: Retriever
  • Likes: Snacks, socks, chasing squirrels, and any other animal that is impossible to catch
  • Favourite toy: Squeaky banana
  • Character / traits: Space invader, loves cuddles with any human, always smiling, likes to follow people around and be as close as possible when having naps
  • Favourite food: Cheese

Polly’s handler is DS Rachel Sadler who currently works in Surrey Police PSD.

Rachel said: "I have worked for Surrey Police for nearly seven years and recognise the significant impact policing has on mental health. I am very passionate about doing what I can to support people in the job and feel dogs make a noticeable difference to people’s happiness whilst at work. I am excited to bring Polly into the team of Surrey wellbeing dogs."


Archie is a black Cocker Spaniel. He is sitting on the floor wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog coat.


  • Breed: Cocker Spaniel
  • Likes: Tummy rubs and cuddles
  • Favourite toy: Squeaky ball
  • Character / traits: Loves saying hello and meeting people
  • Favourite food: Chicken

Archie’s handler is Justin Ingham. Justin is a neighbourhood inspector in Lewes, East Sussex and is also force lead for men’s health for wellbeing. He has operational experience on response, public order and firearms.

Justin said: "Seeing the room light up when he comes to work and being part of that experience is amazing. His calm and playful character has made a huge difference to our family and now we can share this with colleagues."


Bear is a GSD – retired police dog. He is sitting looking at the camera and is wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket.


  • Breed: GSD – retired police dog
  • Likes: Searching, toys, cuddles and sleeping on sofas and beds regardless of whether already occupied by humans
  • Favourite toy: A ball – any ball
  • Character / traits: He is very determined – especially if there are toy opportunities and uses a variety of tactics to get to them, definitely has a sense of humour, is very affectionate but doesn’t like getting his feet wet
  • Favourite food: Close call between a pigs ear and a mini portion of roast dinner

Julia Pope is Bear's handler. Julia retired as a Sussex Superintendent in 2021. Bear had already retired and became one of the force wellbeing dogs – regularly coming into work with her.

Julia said: "He loves people and loves being back in the police environment with both of us now volunteers for OK9.

"Bear has such a positive impact on staff allowing them a few minutes time out and he is a very good listener. He makes people smile when they don’t always feel like smiling."


Charlie the Cocker Spaniel sitting on the grass wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket looking at the camera


  • Breed: Cocker Spaniel
  • Likes: Jumping in water and playing fetch
  • Favourite toy: Anything cuddly and squeaky and his tennis balls
  • Character / traits: Charlie is a playful boy and loves fetch, he is loyal and loves doing his tricks for a treat
  • Favourite food: Carrots, cheese, and gravy bones

Charlie's handler is DC Laura Pettitt. Laura said: "I work in the serious organised crime unit at HQ. I previously worked in Brighton’s safeguarding investigations unit, which is when I got Charlie and really experienced the benefits of having him. When I started to feel the strain, Charlie was always there. Getting out to walk him made a huge difference so I set up a dog walking group which was a way to get others out, creating a space for us to talk.

"Dogs have a way of connecting with us and making us smile and this is certainly what Charlie does. He is a playful boy and as a new member of the team, we are looking forward to making visits and providing support or just a playful moment away from the day-to-day stress of the job."


Eddie the Cavapoo sitting on the floor wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket


  • Breed: Cavapoo
  • Likes: Tummy tickles and sitting on laps
  • Favourite toy: Anything that bounces or squeaks 
  • Favourite food: Chicken

Eddie’s handler is T/Chief Superintendent Howard Hodges who is currently the divisional commander for West Sussex Division and professional lead for response policing for the force. Howard has 26 years’ service with Sussex Police.

Howard and Eddie are a new Oscar Kilo wellbeing dog team and are looking forward to supporting officers and staff across Sussex during incidents, events, and on a daily business during day-to-day duties.


OK9 wellbeing dog Harley the Cockapoo


  • Breed: Cockapoo
  • Likes: Playing football and tummy tickles
  • Favourite toy: Purple octopus
  • Character / traits: Passion for stealing socks and soft toys
  • Favourite food: Nanny’s roast dinner

Harley's handler is Paul Gray. Paul said: "I am an intelligence development officer who has over 40 years with Sussex Police. With my vetting level, I can take Harley into offices where it might not be appropriate for others to go.

"Harley is a young Cockerpoo who just loves to meet people and get attention. When I take her into offices, I am still amazed at how the atmosphere changes and becomes more upbeat."


Harley in his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket lying on the grass with a tennis ball


  • Breed: Spaniel (Sprocker)
  • Likes: Playing, getting muddy, fuss, and attention – cuddles are a must
  • Favourite toy: A tennis ball
  • Character / traits: Harley smiles when he’s playing, listens intently, is stubborn, very loyal, and loving
  • Favourite food: Roast dinner or salmon, broccoli, and potatoes

Ed Ripley is a chief inspector within the force contact centre and manages around 500 people. Ed said: "Aside from the demands of general business there can be some very challenging moments, especially when someone manages a response to a traumatic incident or may have been verbally abused over the phone.

"Harley will naturally go to people who need him, indicating that he would like a cuddle by placing his paw on their lap. Harley’s presence within the centre has been well received and there is a noticeable positive difference all round when he is in the centre.

"I’m a new OK9 handler and it’s already very rewarding, not only because of the support that I can provide to people through the scheme, but also because I enjoy seeing Harley work his magic."


Headshot of Loki the Cocker Spaniel


  • Breed: Cocker Spaniel 
  • Likes: Loves his big brother Stanley and digging in mud
  • Favourite toy: Kevin the carrot
  • Favourite food: Anything he can get his paws on

Loki’s handler, Lauren Buck is a neighbourhood sergeant on East Sussex division. Lauren is aware of the morale-boosting impacts of the wellbeing dogs, having seen the positive work done by Stanley.

Lauren said: "Loki is such a joy to be around, and watching him interact and bring joy to officers even on the toughest of days goes to show the real benefit he will bring."


Headshot of Luther the Labrador sitting in a field looking away from the camera


  • Breed: Labrador
  • Likes: Trips to the beach and swimming
  • Favourite food: Anything and everything

Luther’s handler is Jessica Issacs, a senior healthcare professional working in custody. Jessica said, "Mental health and wellbeing has always been a deep-rooted passion of mine, and seeing the smiles when Luther comes into custody or other departments is absolutely amazing. He creates a welcome distraction for detainees and boosts team morale for the staff."


Maui the American Akita sitting on grass wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket


  • Breed: American Akita
  • Likes: Loves making friends, cuddles, and stealing slippers
  • Favourite toy: Anything squeaky
  • Favourite food: He will accept all treats

Maui’s handler, Jo, is a DCI on West Sussex Division. When Maui went out for his first walks, Jo noticed that people no longer looked down at the ground when walking by, they stopped for conversation, smiled, and would give Maui a good fuss – which he loved.

Jo really noticed the positive difference Maui made to those he met and being passionate about wellbeing decided to make it their mission to support more officers and staff through difficult times across Sussex by joining OK9.


OK9 dog Merlin is sitting on the floor looking away from the camera


  • Breed: Labrador
  • Likes: Food and Tug of War
  • Favourite toy: Any rope toy or sticks
  • Character / traits: Very chilled, sleeps a lot, gentle giant
  • Favourite food: Chicken

Darren is Merlin's handler. Darren said: "I work at Gatwick Airport and want to give a little bit back to the organisation and colleagues that have been my support for many years. Merlin regularly comes to work with me and is now well-known at Gatwick.

"I am a firm believer in wellbeing support and OK9 enabled me to get some professional training to bring support to others in all sorts of teams. It is very rewarding to see others benefitting from the OK9 visits."

Milo and Maggie

Milo with his daughter Maggie are working Cocker Spaniels. They are sitting on grass looking away from the camera. Milo is wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket.


  • Breed: Working Cocker Spaniel
  • Likes: Carrying something in his mouth, rolling on his back for cuddles and general loving
  • Favourite toy: Anything soft
  • Character / traits: The most gentle soft calm cocker you will meet. Takes everyone's sadness and makes them happy
  • Favourite food: Custard creams

Milo’s handler is Di Lewis. Milo is being supported by his daughter Maggie, who at 12 months is now learning the job.

Di said: "Milo has been doing this role for all of his seven years and has a significant impact on staff across the force supporting those in need in from all aspects, including trauma bereavement and some victims of crime. As lead for mental health for the force, I know how important it is to allow people to talk and have some time away from the stresses of policing. 

"It is clear from his nomination for Sussex Police Dog of the Year, that he has had a significant impact on many staff and officers providing cuddles and affection on a regular basis. Staff can take him for walk if they need time away or just sit and have a cuddle."


Murphy is a Cocker Spaniel. He is wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket and is looking at the camera.


  • Breed: Cocker Spaniel
  • Likes: Food, walks in the woods, people making a fuss of him and socks
  • Favourite toy: An old fluffy sock and the remains of a stuffed toy fox
  • Character / traits: Very vocal, likes to talk and likes to sun bathe
  • Favourite food: Ginger bread cookies, toast, raw chicken legs and pig's ears

Nicky Stuart is Murphy's handler. Nicky is an NPT inspector in Brighton and Hove, Sussex Police.

Nicky said: "Murphy loves coming into work and gets so excited when we drive into the car park. He knows his way around and likes to visit lots of different offices, especially the ones with treats in.

"For me, I love to see people’s faces light up when he trots in. It never ceases to amaze me how it changes the atmosphere in an office and gives people the opportunity for a quick 5 or 10 minute distraction to talk to him and give him some fuss."


Headshot of Nelly the Cocker Spaniel


  • Breed: Cocker Spaniel
  • Likes: Long walks, sniffing, swimming in the sea, cuddles
  • Favourite toy: Squeaky cuddly toys
  • Character / traits: Playing with dogs and humans, and catching flies
  • Favourite food: Carrots, broccoli stems, and any treats

Nelly lives in Eastbourne with her handler who is a police inspector on the neighbourhood team. Together they visit officers and staff at Hammonds Drive, taking time to pop in to give whoever she meets the chance to switch off in that moment from the pressures of work. She knows she is guaranteed a cuddle and on occasion a little treat.


Poppy is a black Labrador. She is sitting in the garden with flowers behind her holding the Union Flag in her month.


  • Breed: Labrador
  • Likes: Being the centre of attention
  • Favourite toy: Tuggy toys
  • Character / traits: Happy go lucky, intelligent and very loving confident girl
  • Favourite food: Fish

NPWS OK9 Wellbeing and Trauma Support Dog Project Lead Garry Botterill naturally had his own dog Poppy taking part on behalf of Sussex. 

Poppy is also an Ambassadog for Service Dogs UK and does demonstrations about how assistance dogs can help people from the Armed Forces and Emergency Services with PTSD. She is also a natural clown who loves to show off and entertain.


Headshot of Rocky the Labrador looking at the camera


  • Breed: Labrador
  • Likes: Loves food, snackos, company, and snoozing
  • Favourite toy: His cuddly toy
  • Favourite food: He's a Lab - his trick is making everyone think he's never been fed

Rocky’s handler is Custody Inspector Jason Wilson who is passionate about custody and improving facilities for staff and detainees. Introducing Rocky as a custody doggo was the start of an ongoing journey to introduce new and innovative ideas into custody in order for staff to be better equipped to deal with the wide-ranging demands of the role.


Rolo is a Cockapoo. He is sitting, with his head turned and is looking at the camera wearing his OK9 wellbeing dog jacket.


  • Breed: Cockapoo
  • Likes: Playing tug-of-war, loves to be chased and being scratched under his chin
  • Favourite toy: His florescent green snake (especially when treats are hidden inside)
  • Character / traits: He can always sense when someone is sad and when he does he rests his chin on their lap, his tail is always wagging, he thinks everything is fun / a game and he does a very cute head tilt whenever he hears the words ‘cheese’ or ‘chicken’
  • Favourite food: Chicken

Charlotte is Rolo's handler. Charlotte is an investigator for the paedophile online investigation team at Sussex Police.

Charlotte said: "I love being an OK9 handler as I get to see the joy and instant happiness Rolo brings to everyone we come across in the work place.

"My colleagues and I are required to deal with quite distressing matters and it is great to have Rolo around to bring some fun and laughter to our days. He’s very well known at my home police station and when walking around I often hear ‘Rolo’ followed by someone running up to him in excitement – which he loves."


Headshot of Stanley the English Springer Spaniel looking at the camera


  • Breed: English Springer Spaniel 
  • Likes: Meeting officers and staff, lots of belly rubs
  • Favourite toy: Any ball
  • Favourite food: He is partial to a biscuit

PC Daren Buck is Stanley’s handler, he is a PC on East Sussex Division. Daren is a mental health first aider and is passionate about the wellbeing of the staff in Sussex, as he has suffered from mental health issues himself. Darren said: “Sometimes it’s difficult to talk about things, Stanley creates a distraction allowing people to open up and talk about their issues.”


Headshot of Stanley the Labrador looking at the camera


  • Breed: Labrador
  • Likes: Loves other dogs, toys - anything squeaky, puddles - the muddier the better
  • Favourite toy: Anything squeaky
  • Favourite food: Carrots or cheese

Stanley’s handler is Response Inspector Ollie Pullen. Ollie said: “I’ve been a police officer for 15 years and the vast majority of my career has been on a response. It’s fair to say that the welfare and wellbeing support which is now available to officers and staff is unrecognisable to what was available when I first joined.

"I’ve watched as the OK9 family has grown in Sussex and I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact the dogs can have on wellbeing. Stanley, being a Labrador, absolutely loves people which made the decision to enrol him as wellbeing dog very easy. We are both looking forward to providing help and support to our colleagues.”


Dylan the Cocker Spaniel in a field


  • Breed: Cocker Spaniel
  • Likes: Drinking tea from unattended mugs
  • Favourite toy: Loves to play ball

Dylan’s handler is Catherine Parfitt. Catherine said: “Dylan wants to love and be loved – he is a quiet soul after initial ‘Tigger’ style introductions. He is kind and lifts spirits instantly. Dylan is inclusive and will greet everyone with unconditional kindness. 

"Dylan is going to be a fantastic addition to the TVP wellbeing dog team as well as the wider national Oscar Kilo 9 network. He is still young so we hope he can have a long service with TVP – let’s hope he can receive a good conduct medal at the end (he is a spaniel so this is not guaranteed.)”


Henley wearing his OK9 wellbeing jacket and laying on a rug


  • Breed: Working Cocker Spaniel
  • Likes: Food, walks, sniffing, chasing squirrels, playing, cuddles, strokes, and any ball
  • Favourite toy: Henley loves his squeaky hedgehog
  • Character / traits: Very lively, cheeky but loving, loyal with a fun personality
  • Favourite food: Anything he can sniff out or find - he loves treats and will do almost anything for one

Henley's handler is Jacky Madden, welfare officer for Thames Valley Police. Jacky said: "My role is a very privileged role as I offer a confidential help and support service for officers and staff at TVP. I am a good listener, empathetic and caring. Since launching the TVP wellbeing dog in 2018, we have been very successful and have now increased the TVP WBD’s provision to two additional handlers and three additional dogs working with Henley and myself.

"Being an OK9 handler is such a fantastic addition to my role in welfare, we provide such a unique service to TVP and it is very successful and popular. Henley has made such a difference to officers and staff in TVP; feedback is fabulous and our bookings and visits are still very popular four years on. Henley can light up a room just by walking in. Henley immediately puts smiles on people’s faces and we are always invited back and re-booked."


Luis the Golden Retriever sitting on grass looking away from the camera


  • Breed: Golden Retriever
  • Likes: Loves to run around and play ball
  • Character / traits: Luis has incredible emotional intelligence

Catherine Parfitt is also Luis’ handler. Catherine said: “Luis is an amazing dog, he has the unique ability to know when someone needs a cuddle, company, or just a shoulder.

"On one occasion he ran off (not like him) and was found sometime later a street away with a lady who had collapsed on the floor – he waited until human help arrived. We have no idea how he knew – incredible.

"Luis accompanies people to services/funerals if they do not want to go alone. He will comfort a child or adult in any situation. He has worked with people with PTSD, diabetes and assisted with a loneliness scheme during the covid pandemic.” 


Snoopy the King Charles Spaniel sitting on grass looking away from the camera


  • Breed: King Charles Spaniel
  • Likes: Meeting and greeting anyone 
  • Character / traits: Friendly, calm, cuddly, and prefers a cuddle to a walk

Snoopy’s handler is Alice Broad. Alice said: “In my role as a detective inspector and a police officer for almost 18 years, I am very aware of the stresses and strains working in the police and emergency services can give.

"I work closely with the welfare and OHU departments as a welfare bronze, ensuring all available support is given to officers and staff during traumatic and difficult times. As well as a very much-loved part of my family, Snoopy has been working as a Pets as Therapy dog for a number of years.”