Neptune City Police welcomed a new member recently – Luke, a rescue dog. Pictured are (from left) Police Officer Matthew Edwards, Chief Matthew Quagliato, Police Officer John Flanagan holding Luke, Police Officer Christopher VanBrunt, Sergeant Janell Pyzik, SRO Andy Hanson and Police Officer George Williams.
In January, the Monmouth County SPCA introduced a pilot program placing shelter dogs within police departments to serve as emotional support animals. With the success of the shelter’s first placement of Tala, a purebred husky, adopted to the Eatontown Police Department, came many other inquiries about the program.
The shelter has now announced a second dog, named Luke, now lives within the Neptune City Police Department.
Luke was transferred to the Monmouth County SPCA from an overcrowded shelter in December of 2020. Unfortunately, Luke’s original rescuers weren’t aware that he had a broken hip and that he was in living in pain. Luckily, the medical staff at the shelter was able to quickly assess and schedule the surgery Luke needed to get back on his feet (literally!) Luke spent 4-months in a loving foster home recovering from his procedure, and it was there that we were able to determine his calm and gentle demeanor would make for a perfect match for the placement program.
“It’s been a tough time for everyone, including our officers – we’re human beings and have bad days too so Luke brings us joy and comfort when we need it most. Being that Luke is over 6 years old, which sometimes makes dogs harder to adopt, we’re happy that our station family could take him and give him love and be loved in return, he really is a ray of sunshine,” said Neptune City Police Chief Matt Quagliato.
Luke’s adopter, Matt Edwards, a Neptune City Police Department Patrolman added, “Ever since we got Luke, he’s brought nothing but joy to all of us at the NCPD. Every time we walk into headquarters, you can hear Luke shaking out his fur, see his tail wagging and you can’t help but smile and start playing with him. While inside, he loves to hang out and follow you around, and when we take him on walks, he treats it like a new adventure and greets everyone he sees! We are so thankful and lucky to have adopted Luke.”
Executive Director of the Monmouth County SPCA, Ross Licitra says, “We love seeing this important initiative grow into a successful program. The relationship we’re able to create between shelter dogs and our local officers is what our mission to serve our community is all about. We look forward to MCSPCA shelter dogs in police departments throughout Monmouth County.”
Interested parties are welcomed to contact the shelter for more information about the placement program by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 732-542-0040 x 7.