South Simcoe Police Service Thanks Canine Unit Community Partners 

(Bradford, ON)  Our Canine Unit has some invaluable community backup and this week we said thank you.

Official portraits of Police Service Dog Nitro and his partner Constable Shawn Gwilliam were presented on Thursday, December 6, 2018 to Dr. Derek Boughner of Dissette Animal Hospital in Bradford and Liz and Bob Pegg, owners of the Pet Valu store in Bradford. Sgt. Henry Geoffroy and PC Gwilliam delivered the framed photographs with an inscription acknowledging the continued support.

Both businesses play a very important role behind the scenes for our Canine Unit.

Dr. Boughner provides primary care for Nitro including ongoing checkups and health-related advice. The veterinarian has a 13-year history of assisting South Simcoe Police Service’s Canine Units. It’s a public service that started with Boughner’s days doing emergency work for canines in Detroit.

Nitro is an ‘awesome’ patient, according to Boughner.

“He’s been a great dog. When he’s here Nitro is very well-behaved and I’m sure when he’s out doing his job he’s not exactly calm,” said Boughner, adding he’s just happy he can help the police service. “I live in town and you’re always looking for something to give back to in the community. We do lot of local charities. The police department is obviously different for us than the routine vaccines and things like that.”

Bob and Liz Pegg have been feeding South Simcoe Police Service police dogs for 20 years. They started with the service’s first police dogs in 1998 and continue to this day with Nitro. They donate Nitro’s food which is their Pet Valu house brand as a gesture of gratitude to have police dogs in the community.

“Heaven forbid that we ever need that service but you know there have been people in town that need the service. I think it’s amazing, so whatever we can do,” said Liz.

The generous couple is also involved in a number of local charities but for Bob and Liz, Nitro is special.

“We get constant updates from Shawn and his progress,” said Bob. “You can see that Nitro watches Shawn all the time like he’s looking for direction and that’s obviously on the training.”

Both store owners speak with pride about our latest four-legged crime fighter.

“Nitro is like our boy,” said Liz with a big smile. “I think he’s an amazing dog. His markings are very unique. For us being in the business, when you find an animal that is that unique, it’s been really interesting to watch him. We kind of live through Shawn’s eyes and what he sees and what Nitro’s able to do and the things he accomplishes. And every time he accomplishes something, it’s pride. You think, ‘Our boy.’”

Part of PC Gwilliam’s responsibility as a canine handler is to ensure Nitro is healthy and physically ready to respond to calls for service. Having these silent community partners in Dr. Boughner and his staff and Bob and Liz and their staff is invaluable.

“We wanted to take the time to acknowledge their important role. We know they don’t do it for recognition but we wanted to publicly thank them,” said Gwilliam. “It’s great to have these resources in the community to ensure Nitro is well taken care of, healthy and able to work.”