Elliott knows all the detectives who keep treats in their desk drawers. He’s a dapper fellow, with big brown eyes and a signature bow tie, his Cookies and Cream tail constantly wagging.
The 9-month-old Australian Cattle Dog has quickly charmed his way into the hearts of his Boynton Beach Police Department family as the agency’s new therapy dog. There’s no doubt he’ll do the same with the community on Saturday when he attends his first big public event at the Schoolhouse Children’s Museum Princess & Superhero Day.
“Elliott is definitely a charmer,” said his partner, Special Victims Unit Det. Rachel Moccia. “The community is going to fall in love with him.”
Moccia and K9 Elliott graduated from the Paws & Stripes College at the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office on Dec. 17 where they participated in the Law Enforcement & Multidiscipline Crimes Against Children Therapy Dogs program.
Moccia said that during the week-long training, she was inspired and motivated by a framed photograph and article on the wall there about BBPD K9 Harley, who retired in March 2021 when her partner was promoted from detective to sergeant. K9 Harley graduated from the program in 2016, and became the first municipal police department therapy dog in the state.
K9 Elliott’s first day on the job with Moccia was Jan. 3, and just one week later, he provided comfort to a child who was the victim of a sexual battery.
“He laid on the floor and fell asleep, and the child got off a chair to sit on the floor next to him,” Moccia said. “The child then opened up about what happened, and we were able to make an arrest. It was incredibly meaningful to have Elliott there.”
Since then, K9 Elliott has worked alongside Moccia to put a smile on the face of a 14-year-old girl who ran away from home and console the parents of a young child who passed away.
Moccia said that when they are not on duty, she and K9 Elliot are taking their time getting to know each other and bonding.
“He’s food crazy and loves garbage cans,” she said. “He’s energetic and playful, obsessed with sniffing bushes and grass, and loves to be outdoors playing frisbee and fetch. When it’s time to work, he’s ready to work.”
The community can meet K9 Elliott from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Schoolhouse Children’s Museum Princess & Superhero Day at the Boynton Beach Amphitheatre in Centennial Park. Visit schoolhousemuseum.org for more information.