By Jacqueline Quynh

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The newest member of the Miami-Dade Police Department walks on all fours. That’s because it’s a therapy dog named Dottie.

“Dottie is a very very cute partner,” officer Alejandro Muñoz said.

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It’s not something you hear Muñoz say too often on the job. Unless, he’s with Dottie. She’s furry and friendly, but she’s tasked with tough work.

“These dogs have to be completely tame and calm, you could be dealing with somebody that has a mental breakdown, or maybe going through an episode, or reaction to medication,” he explained.

Dottie was one of the few therapy dogs brought to the site of the Surfside collapse.

“She was able to interact with the families of the victims, she was also able to interact with firefighters, investigators that were on scene, they were very long days, and the dog was able to just interact with them, they would play with her.”

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Though Dottie was still in training she helped usher calm amid chaos. She started however, as a rescue, having spent weeks in the shelter. She was a year old by the time she was fostered.

“Older pets make for best pets, because you pretty much know what you’re getting, you know the temperament, you know the size they’re going into,” Lorna Mejia, Miami-Dade County Animal Services Interim Director said.

Mejia can only hope stories like Dottie’s will help inspire people looking for a companion to adopt, not shop.

“And here we are we’re going to Surfside, we’re going to schools, and children with disability, so we’re really making a difference,” Officer Muñoz added.

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For more information on adoption click here. 

Jacqueline Quynh