Chihuahua on patrol: Ohio police department employs tiny service dog

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An Ohio police department has adopted a tiny service dog.

You don't typically see a chihuahua riding around in a police car, but you might in Marblehead, Ohio, where the newest member of the police force weighs in at just 4.2 pounds.

Zorro the chihuahua was adopted by the Chief Casey Joy a couple of months ago. WTVG reports the pint-sized pooch started work a few days later and is now an unofficial member of the force.

"He was sworn in yesterday at the village council meeting as the village mascot," Joy said.

Even though Zorro is not an official K-9 officer, he still comes into work with the chief every day and goes on patrol.

When he's riding in the cruiser, Zorro has a little bag that he sits in near the passenger seat with a seat belt, where he sits watches everything that happens.

In addition to his police ride-alongs, Zorro is in training to be a therapy dog. He'll eventually visit nursing homes, hospitals and hospices.
"Anything that can bring the community you serve together is nothing but positive and he's already done that," Joy said.

When Zorro is not on duty, he lives with Joy and another dog, a seizure detecting dog for the chief's son.

At the police station, Zorro is just a little spoiled.

"He has a heating pad he likes to sit on when he gets cold. He even has his own little vest made by a local woman. She absolutely fell in love with him and two days later she came in with the police vest for him and he's been wearing it ever since," Joy said.

"Who doesn't love Zorro, he's an awesome little dog," said Chris Suppelsa of the Marblehead Police Department.

The officers truly love having a new friend on the force.

"When you go from call to call to call that can be very stressful," said Suppelsa. "And coming back and playing with a chihuahua doesn't hurt."
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pets-animalsk-9dogdogsservice animalu.s. & worldOhio