Therapy dog Baloo visits local disabled people
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Last week, retired police dog Baloo, who has recently been given the role of Essex Police therapy dog, continued her work helping others by spending time with members of the community who, like her, are disabled.
She was invited to meet customers of Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions CIC, a social enterprise which provides services, support and opportunities to disabled people in Thurrock. The organisations helps to remove barriers which make life harder for disabled people and work to create equality, offering disabled people more independence, choice and control.
Baloo, a three-year-old Belgian Malinois, joined the force in 2018. Sadly, after just seven months service, she was involved in an accident while on duty, which resulted in her having to have one of her legs amputated.
However since her life changing operation, and thanks to the support of her new owner Mandy, Baloo has gone from strength to strength, overcoming adversity and turning her disability into something which helps and inspire others, both inside and outside the force.
Those who engage with Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions CIC have a range of physical and learning abilities. Baloo helped enforce the message that being disabled doesn't have to limit what they can achieve.
"I really like dogs and Baloo was lovely" said Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions CIC customer, Lee.
"Essex Police are so cool - they really keep people like me and my friends safe!"