Buddy and Martha

Buddy and his partner Martha Holzgrafe help those who are in stressful situations. 

GREEN RIVER – Therapy canines are making a difference in the way law enforcement serves communities.

Buddy joined the Green River Police Department in June of 2021. At that time, he was six months old and required additional training.

GRPD Juvenile Detective Martha Holzgrafe is Buddy’s handler.

“I continued to work with Buddy to prepare him for his final evaluations,” said Holzgrafe.

In November of 2021, Buddy and Martha traveled to Columbus, Ohio where they attended the only Law Enforcement K9 Therapy School in the United States. During that time, Buddy completed and achieved his full Therapy Dog Certification, his ACK Canine Good Citizen and his AKC Urban Canine Good Citizen. Buddy started working in his certified therapy role in November of 2021.

Buddy came from Duty Dogs in Cody, Wyoming. His trainers Jeremy and Alicia Becker have been breeding pure breed English labradors since 2013. Initially, they specialized in training diabetes alert dogs but they have since branched out into training additional service animals.

“Buddy and I are excited to be a part of the Duty Dogs family,” Holzgrafe stated.

He absolutely loves his dog food and lets Holzgrafe know when it is time for breakfast and dinner.

“He enjoys chewing on deer antlers and occasionally gets a jerky treat,” she mentioned.

Buddy provides assistance to anyone who may need additional support.

According to Holzgrafe, Sweetwater County School District No, 2 students sometime struggle with having a bad day.

“Buddy comes in, lays with the kids, plays with the kids, or sits with them,” she explained. “This time gives the children the chance to calm down and reorganize their thoughts.”

Additionally, Buddy is attached to Student's Positive Reward Options.

“When students have a great week at school, Buddy comes in and spends some one-on-one time with those students.”

Buddy provides support to victims in the community whether it be a juvenile or adult.

“Buddy can sit in when victims of traumatic crimes are being interviewed,” Holzgrafe described. “When victims are preparing for court dates, Buddy goes in and provides additional comfort and support.”

Holzgrafe pointed out that Buddy’s presence helps reduce blood pressure, anxiety and stress for those individuals who may be experiencing a stressful moment.

As a whole, law enforcement agencies across America are starting to use Therapy K9’s in the field.

“Buddy is one of 315 Therapy K9’s in the nation and first in the State of Wyoming,” she revealed. “We here in Sweetwater County think he is pretty famous.”

Dogs have always been Holzgrafe’s favorite breed of animal.

“I can hardly remember a time when our family didn’t have a dog,” she shared. “When I first met Buddy, he quickly came over greeted me and laid down at my feet.”

From that moment on, she knew their bond would be something she had never experienced.

“While working with Buddy, I have watched his confidence grow and I have watched him overcome obstacles that would typically shy a dog away,” she said. “Buddy has built trust in me as I have built an enormous amount of trust in him.

“Our bond is something I greatly appreciate.”

Buddy isn’t just a partner, he’s a friend for life.

In the summer time, she and Buddy spend a lot of time at the lake.

“My family enjoys camping and Buddy sure enjoys spending time in the water,” she chuckled. “In the winter I like to stay warm, however, Buddy reminds me how much he enjoys the snow.”

Buddy comes to work with her every day and when duty ends, he returns home with her and lives with her family.

“Wherever I go, Buddy goes.”

The Green River city council recently approved a resolution establishing a restricted donation program for the police department therapy canine and to accept donations for the thearapy canine into the program.

Residents who would like to donate may do so at the GRPD or contact Holzgrafe at 307-871-9969.

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