The Canine “Captain”

Captain, a three to four year old Pug, acts as mascot and positive influence to the employees at the Youngstown State University Police Department since his arrival in June of last year.

Last June, the Youngstown State University Police Department rescued Captain the police pug. Since his rescue, he has been a mascot for the YSUPD. Photo by Alyssa Pawluk/ The Jambar.

Danica Burrows, a YSUPD officer, along with the help of Lieutenant Shawn Varso, rescued Captain from the Craver Animal Hospital in early June after they found out that he was going to be euthanized. He has been with the department for almost ten months.

“He hangs out here. He’s our mascot. Captain doesn’t really have any duties or responsibilities, only to just be cute,” Burrows said.

Varso said that Captain has free reign of the employee area in the police department and is often pet by the employees. Burrows added that everyone in the department loves him.

“He’s very lovable. Everybody loves him. He’s a pretty happy guy and he’s content now. I think he was passed around quite a bit according to the veterinarian, but he’s finally happy now that he has a home,” she said.

Burrows brings Captain in to the police station almost every day and takes him home with her during the evening.

Employees of the police department are thrilled to have Captain around the office. Megan Shargo, administrative assistant to the police department, said that Captain gives her the chance to relax at work.

“I love having him around. It gives us a chance to get up and play around with him a little bit. It takes your mind off of work for a minute before you go back at it. It’s just nice to have him around,” Shargo said.

Kevin Grischow, student administrative aide at the police department, added that the dog brings enjoyment to the office.

“It brings us happiness to see this little pug running around the office and the police station. He’s definitely a positive influence,” Grischow said.

John Beshara, YSU Police Chief, said that the police department is proud to serve the community and all its members, including the canine variety, and he enjoys seeing the dog as well.

“I think it’s great that we police officers get to serve the community and part of our community is sorting around those stray dogs that are out there. We take pride in helping everybody,” he said.