Salt Lake City police welcome new support dog to work with victims of crime

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Police Department has introduced its newest member to assist residents who are dealing with trauma.

Rita is a two-year-old black Labrador/Golden Retriever mix.

Her focus is to help comfort and support victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, but she’s available to victims of other crimes as well.

As victims are being interviewed by detectives, they will have the option to have Rita there to comfort them. She already knows 40 commands including cover, cuddle and visit.

Rita will also participate with the Peer Support Program for officers who have experienced traumatic events.

She’s been in Salt Lake City for four weeks after being donated from Canine Companions for Independence, located in Oceanside, California.

Rita is assigned to the Victim Advocates office.

She trains with her handler each day and has to re-certify every year.

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