WORCESTER, Mass. - Siggy, a four-month old English Cream Golden Retriever, will be Quinsigamond Community College's first community resource dog.
"He's going to be for emotional support, and he's also being cross trained in search and rescue," said his handler, resource officer Nicholas Yacuzzi.
What You Need To Know
- Quinsigamond Community College is welcoming its first ever community resource dog, Siggy
- Siggy will be used for emotional support as well as search and rescue operations
- Siggy is a four-month-old English Cream Golden Retriever
- Siggy's handler, resource officer Nicholas Yacuzzi, got the idea for a resource dog after witnessing resource officers utilize canines as a de-escalation technique
The name Siggy is a play on words, he's named after Quinsigamond Community College.
The young pup is still being trained by Golden Opportunities for Independence, and even before graduating, he's already had to leap into action.
"So, last week we actually had a call of a student having a panic attack," Yacuzzi said. "We brought Siggy over there and the panic attack came right down."
Yacuzzi said the panic attack was proof they needed something like this on campus.
"On my end, it was almost like a proud dog dad moment to see it works, the training is working and he is going to be able to do what they say they can do," Yacuzzi said.
Siggy and Yacuzzi spend hours a day working on techniques and scenarios. The aforementioned search and rescue capabilities are what separates Siggy from being only a therapy dog.
"For missing students, they'll take an article of clothing from the student, let the dog smell it for a while, and then they'll say go to work," Yacuzzi said. "Find it. And the dog will follow it the best they can."
Siggy still has several months to go before being sworn in as a member of QCC's campus police department. But, he's learning more by the day.
When he's not on campus, Siggy goes home with Yacuzzi. Having grown up with dogs, Siggy has become a dream come true for him.
"As far as waking up in the morning and loading him into the cruiser, there's no better feeling," Yacuzzi said. "It's something most people dream to be a canine officer. Now, I get to do it every day."