Photo Credit: Jake – The DA Dog Facebook page
It’s not every day that we come across something that touches our hearts. But, Jake the DA Dog has a job where he gets to brighten lives every day.
All Jake wanted to do was be a service dog, but unfortunately, he was too tender and sweet for the job. Luckily, this made him the perfect candidate to be an emotional support dog. Jake’s story is one of many ups and downs. But, if you love a great story about a sweet pup, this is the one for you!
Jake belongs to his co-worker Rhoni Standefer. She’s been the DA’s domestic violence victim/witness coordinator since January and Jake has been on duty since July.
Jake possesses an instinctive empathy that earned him his job and that Standefer says can’t be taught.
“This dog can pick up on emotions. He just loves people, and he wants them to feel good. If he sees someone being upset or irritated, he migrates to them,” she says.
Jake’s job with the DA happened mostly by chance. In her job Standefer often speaks with emotional domestic assault victims. One day she brought Jake to visit because “he's a good dog and he likes to get out.”
“A victim came in and we were talking. She’s crying. He was right by her, laying his head on her lap.”
It wasn’t something that happened just once. When Jake comforted a second woman, Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark told Standefer, “I think we’re on to something here.”
Now Jake works with Standefer as she consults alleged victims and has been in contact with about 50 people since he started working at the office.
“If they are OK, he knows that and he comes and sits by me,” Standefer says. When Jake senses someone’s upset, “he goes and sits by them. He nudges them; he loves on them. He’ll put his head in their lap. It’s amazing how he seems to know when he’s needed and when he’s not. Every case is so different. He just kind of feels it out and does this thing.”
He also has a Facebook page! Check him out here.