K-9's Lend a Paw to Reduce Stress for RCMP

While the law enforcement in Kelowna is tasked with keeping the peace and protecting the public, there's a lot of ugly things that our very own RCMP officers come across, and it isn't always easy on them. 

With that in mind, as a way to reduce stress levels in the workplace, the Kelowna RCMP has developed a partnership with an organization out of UBCO.

Building Academic Retention through K-9's, or B.A.R.K., is a therapy program that involves, you guessed it: dogs. Initially designed as a way to help reduce stress for post-secondary students, this program has now made its way to the local RCMP detachment.

Supt. Brent Mundle, Officer-In-Charge of the Kelowna Regional RCMP, recalled an incident from a different police detachment that he worked at years ago where an officer was shot down, and the emotional impact on the officers was quite severe. This was his main motivation to bring a program such as B.A.R.K. to the Kelowna RCMP. 

Mundle hopes that other RCMP detachments from around the country will see the positive effects of the program and forge similar partnerships themselves.

Four canines on average visit the RCMP one day a week for two hours as part of the current trial phase, which is still in effect for two more weeks to determine the overall effectiveness of the program.