One year ago, seven puppies joined the inaugural class of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center. At the Center’s opening celebration last September, the puppies toddled down the aisle to meet their new foster families. One dog, a tiny chocolate Labrador Retriever named Thunder, had to be carried.
This time around, at the Center’s one-year anniversary and working dog graduation ceremony, held Sept. 24 under sunny blue skies in Penn’s South Bank, the dogs moved with newfound confidence and purpose. One member of the initial class, a yellow Lab named Socks, trotted up the stage to “graduate,” joining her new handler, Penn Police Officer Julie Wesley. After completing a 13-week advanced training course in ordnance detection, Officer Wesley and Socks will become the Penn Police Department’s first K-9 unit.
Video by Rebecca Elias Abboud