January 20, 2022

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Sharon Police K9 Flutie Stays Connected During Social Distancing

SHARON, MA – Flutie was looking forward to his big day. Not only was the Sharon Police Community Resource K9 turning 1 year old, he was scheduled to have a party at the Sharon Public Safety Building where the town’s young residents — and their dog-loving families — could come and celebrate with the affable Labrador Retriever with cupcakes, ice cream and, of course, doggie treats.

But, as has been the case with many eagerly anticipated birthdays in the last month, Flutie could not have his party on March 15. In doing his part to protect the community during the coronavirus health emergency the same way he helps residents who are victimized, stressed or dealing with physical or learning disabilities throughout the year, he helped protect the community through staying away from groups of adoring students as part of the town’s social distancing directives.

“Flutie gets the attention of a lot people,” Sharon Deputy Police Chief Don Brewer told Patch on Thursday. “A lot of people care about him. But, even though it’s a challenge for us, he is not even around the station right now. We are keeping him away like everyone else. He doesn’t even get to have his play dates with other dogs.”

While the Center for Disease Control said humans cannot transmit the new coronavirus to dogs, Brewer said that since Flutie will draw a crowd wherever he goes, he is keeping Sharon Sgt. Adam Leavitt, Flutie’s K9 handler, company on the home front these days.

But that doesn’t mean Flutie is staying out of the spotlight. In looking for ways to fulfill his mission as a community resource in times of need for the town, Flutie has been making the rounds on social media, will take part in an online autism awareness seminar Sharon police are sharing this month, and even participated in a Zoom teleconference with fellow police K9s on Wednesday.

“We’re doing a few things to keep him out there,” Brewer said. “When we post something on Twitter, he gets a lot of response. It gives people a chance to interact with him in a virtual way.”

One of those ways was two weeks ago when Flutie went through a scheduled surgery that required him to wear a cone on his head during his recovery. When Sharon police posted the picture of him in his cone, Brewer said well wishes came flooding Flutie’s way, providing an activity for young Sharon students to work on at home during the first weeks of the statewide school closures.

“We got a bunch of cards from the kids,” Brewer said. “It took a while, but we made sure that Flutie responded to each one of them.”

While Flutie is enjoying some downtime working from home, Sharon’s other police K9 Buck is still hard at work on the front lines protecting the residents of Sharon — and even going to school. Buck recently completely a Boston Academy explosives course and can now detect 20 different kinds of explosives in the case of an emergency, as well as track evidence and suspects during a crime investigation.

Flutie — the far more sociable of the duo — has an email where residents can ask him how he is doing during the time when everyone is supposed to be spending as much time as possible staying at home.

“We are brainstorming some other ideas to keep him out there online as much as possible,” Brewer said. “We are looking at a couple of Facebook Live things, and other things where we then might be able to post the video for people to watch online.

“The longer this goes, the more creative we’ll be.”

(If you have a story of a local business or organization that is looking to lend a hand to those in need during the coronavirus pandemic, or lift spirits amid social distancing and isolation, Patch wants to let people in your community know about it. Contact Scott Souza at [email protected] to help us spread the positives during this uncertain time.)

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This article originally appeared on the Sharon Patch

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