Williamsburg Police Officer gives shelter dogs second chance at life

Posted at 9:41 PM, Jan 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-12 23:03:45-05

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - A dog's life can be 'ruff' especially if they are living in a shelter.

That's why a Williamsburg Police Officer is getting the pups out of the cage and into the community.

About a year ago, Senior Police Officer Aundrea Holiday partnered with the Heritage Humane Society and started the "K9 for a Day."

Once a week she stops by the humane society and is 'assigned' a dog that is up for adoption.

Officer Holiday and Libby

The dog is given an 'Adopt Me' vest and then the two become partners for the day. Their first stop is always to the Williamsburg Police Department to see how the animal acts in an environment they have never been before -- plus it always cheers up the officers!

From there, they walk through Colonial Williamsburg stopping at the courthouse, Duke of Gloucester St., and other downtown shoppes.

The idea is to see how the dog reacts to other people and dogs so the shelter can pair them with the right family.

"It's giving an opportunity for us to learn more about the dogs [and] their behaviors and kinda what their preferences are," said Executive Director of the Heritage Humane Society, Kimberly Laska.

Officer Holiday spends about five hours a day with the dog. They walk around town, meeting people along the way and raising awareness about all the other animals that need to be adopted.

"By the end of our five hours we pretty much know each other and they're leaning over the armrest giving me kisses and it's like we're old friends," Holiday said with a smile.

Officer Holiday also said it's fun to get out in the community and meet people she may not have had the opportunity to.

Those at the Humane Society are just as thankful for the program.

"It's a really nice way for the community to know that they can start trusting not just our dogs in the program, but the police in a different way," Laska said.

It's a second chance for the dogs and even Officer Holiday.

"When I started this I was an animal lover but I didn't realize how much [the dogs] were going to change me," said Holiday. "I think I'm a better person because of them."

Everytime Officer Holiday takes a dog out, they are featured on Facebook. All the dogs, including the one in the video above, are available for adoption.