Therapy Dog For Orland Park Police Up For Grant to Continue to Bring Comfort to Community – NBC Chicago | Barky Supplies Expert Tips

Therapy Dog For Orland Park Police Up For Grant to Continue to Bring Comfort to Community – NBC Chicago

Law enforcement therapy dogs across the country are up for a major grant this week, that could help them continue to do important work in the communities they live in.

One of those comfort dogs is Leo, the therapy dog for the Orland Park Police Department. Leo has been with the department since 2021. In those two short years, he has made a significant impression in the area.

Officer Rich Miller with the Orland Park Police Department is Leo’s handler – or as he likes to call himself, Leo’s Uber driver.

“I’m his Uber driver,” Miller said, jokingly. “I drive him where he needs to go.”

Leo goes, where he’s invited.

In July 2022, he visited Chicago Police Officer Danny Golden, who became paralyzed after he was shot while off duty, at a bar in Beverly.

Leo also went to Highland Park, after the tragedy on the Fourth of July.

“We were at Highland Park High School interacting with those affected by the shooting… whether they were victims , family members or law-enforcement officers, Leo was there and provided some much-needed comfort”

Most recently, Leo also provided some much needed comfort when Chicago Police Officer Andres Vasquez-Lasso was killed in the line of duty.

“We responded with the 100 club of Illinois to Mount Sinai Hospital, the night that he was murdered,” said Miller. “While we were in the emergency room, we were was assigned to the family and interacted with the family. Unfortunately, his wife was not in town then… but she reached out to the 100 club and asked Leo be at the Wake and funeral with her.”

That was the start of a special relationship. One of many interactions that prove Leo’s job in the Chicago area is crucial.

“Seeing her smile, it was the most profound moment of my career, ” said Miller.” I think it proves the worth of law enforcement therapy dogs.”

Leo is up for the Aftermath K9 grant, worth $5,000. People can vote online, once a day, by clicking here:
Voting ends on Monday, June 5.

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