Emotional support dog adopted

Robert Smith
Assistant city manager Rex Wikel, police chief Nick Silva, shelter volunteer Susie Owens and city manager Larry Eulert stand with the Pawhuska Police Department’s new emotional support dog, Ebony, last week. Ebony is already making the rounds during downtown foot patrols, getting to know the public. Photo courtesy of city of Pawhuska

The Pawhuska Police Department has a new best friend — Ebony the emotional support dog, a seven-month-old black lab who is blessed to be alive and is now busy returning her blessings.

Nick Silva, chief of Pawhuska police, said Ebony was found in late March along Highway 99 with a broken pelvis and a broken rear left leg.

“The bones were healing at different rates, which meant she had been abused at different times,” Silva said, commenting on the type and effect of Ebony’s injuries. “She literally would have to drag herself.”

Pawhuska animal shelter volunteer Susie Owens has cared for Ebony and recommended her to Silva as a sweet-tempered dog who would make a good companion for the officers at the police station and a good liaison dog in dealings with the public.

“I told Susie that I was highly interested in a tranquil dog, a good dog that would be good with kids of all ages,” Silva said. He said the Pawhuska police heard Ebony’s story and fell in love with her

“These are kind of a new trend in law enforcement,” he said of emotional support dogs. The department didn’t want an intense, aggressive dog. It wanted a gentler-tempered dog to which the public could relate. “Just kind of a dog to de-stress.”

Ebony has been riding along with Silva and going on foot patrols downtown, and she has a comfortable bed just a foot or so from Silva’s chair in his office at the station.

In addition to providing the Pawhuska police force with a lovable companion, the adoption of Ebony is intended to help the department in its dealings with crime victims and with children generally.

“I thought it was an incredible comeback story,” Silva said of the story of Ebony’s injuries and her recovery. “Kind of what law-enforcement is all about — meeting people in their worst moments and helping them overcome them.”

Silva recently came to the Pawhuska P.D. from the Osage Nation P.D. He said he is interested in progressive change in the department and has implemented foot patrols.

“Business owners have been extremely pleased with it,” he said regarding the foot patrols.

Silva comes from a law enforcement family — both of his parents have worked in the profession. He hopes to grow the size of the Pawhuska police force. There are currently eight officers and he would like 11 or 12.

Owens expressed pleasure about the adoption of Ebony to help the Pawhuska P.D.

“I am so glad that they adopted her,” Owens said, adding that Ebony can relate to people who have been mistreated. “That’s pretty special. They could have gone anywhere (to find a suitable dog).”

As Ebony was adjusting to her new experiences with the police department last week, Owens was picking her up every afternoon and she said Ebony seemed quite taken with her new friends. The pup was scheduled to be spayed this week.

Dr. Jan Johnston provided Ebony with medical care and Owens described her own role as caregiver in terms of giving Ebony love and some physical therapy.