Episode 41: Recorded December 13, 2023
“We all have the same goal in helping our men and women, whatever they need…”Officer Joe King, Dallas Police Department — on the mission of the Dallas PD Wellness Unit and therapy Greyhound, Aussie
Joe King is a 27 year veteran of the Dallas Police Department. He spent almost two decades in one of the toughest beats in the department. Today, he serves his fellow officers in the department’s Wellness Unit alongside other officers and a new four-legged partner, former racing Greyhound Aussie. Together, they work to provide counseling and support to police offers and other first responders suffering from PTSD and other mental health and personal challenges.
Aussie has been specially trained as a police therapy dog. He is part of a pilot program in the United States between Greyhound Racing New South Wales (GRNSW), the US Fraternal Order of Police, and the Dallas Police Department. The Greyhound Adoption League of Texas (GALT) serves as the local support and training Liaison. Russ Feilen, International Rehoming Director for GRNSW, partnered with former marine and GALT Chairman John McQuade to initiate the pilot program.
By day, Aussie visits different divisions within the Dallas PD and serves in outreach programs for the department. After hours, he lives the life of a retired racing Greyhound with Joe and his family. John continues to work with Joe and the Dallas PD to refine Aussie’s therapy dog development. Meanwhile, Russ and the team at GRNSW are looking for the next candidate police department for these specially trained Greyhounds.
In this episode, host John Parker sits down with Russ, Joe and John to talk about this unique Greyhound therapy dog training program for police departments. Russ shares some of the success of Australian Greyhound adoption to date in the United States. Joe and John talk about the Greyhound candidate identification process and training of the selected Greyhounds in the program.