The Troy, Michigan Police Department has just made a move that is absolutely purrrfect. They have added a Police Cat to their staff, named Pawfficer Donut. She was officially sworn in on Friday, and ends a long search for the perfect match. It all began when Troy promised to add a cat to their police force if they got 10,000 followers on Twitter. Within a week, they had all the followers they needed and the interview process began. Troy is a suburb about 25 miles north of Detroit, with a population of 83,000. Read on to learn more about Pawfficer Donut, how she was picked, and she photos and videos of her.
1. Pawfficer Donut Was Sworn in After a Long Selection Process
Pawfficer Donut was sworn in on Friday, May 11 by Judges Kirsten Nielsen Hartig and Maureen McGinnis, MLive reported. Tehy asked her to raise her right paw for the swearing in, and she even got her own badge.
She will be used for therapeutic purposes and will make public appearances. She’ll also help raise awareness about pet adoptions and will frequently interact with people in the community. Troy Police Department tweeted that in the hierarchy, the new rank of Pawfficer “is probably somewhere around Chief.” They also said that they chose the cat’s handler (who has two cats of their own) and the employee will have a decal on their car. The cat will also be available online for advice, possibly under the hashtag #AskPoliceCat.
The process for interviewing the police cats was a long one.
The interview process included testing the kittens’ reactions during play time, their ability to follow your movements, and much more.
But now Pawfficer Donut has been chosen and she’s adorable.
Here’s a video of Donut’s first official appearance:
2. It All Began When the Troy PD Said They’d Add a Police Cat If They Got 10,000 Followers
On March 6, the Troy Police Department tweeted that if they received 10,000 Twitter followers by April, they would get a police cat. And they celebrated when the goal was met on March 14, just a little over a week later:
Sgt. Meghan Lehman, who handles social media for the police department, told Detroit Free Press: “We’ve been trying to use our social media creatively… basically we just want to engage the public. We’d made mentions in the past about a police cat, so this was just a way to engage the public, plus we love cats.”
Donut won’t be living at the station 24/7, Detroit Free Press shared. She has a handler and will live at the handler’s home when she’s not at work. This is the same system they use for their three police K9s. But while the K9s track suspects and do searches, Donut is more likely to be a mascot of sorts, since they’re unsure how the whole surveillance thing would work.
Since the first announcement, the police department’s Twitter feed frequently features stories about cats.
And even before the kitten was named, the Police Cat was already getting mail.
And everyone has been asking about the police cat ever since the goal was announced:
3. The Kitten Was Adopted from the Michigan Humane Society
The Troy Police Department chose their pawfficer from the Michigan Humane Society. In fact, MHS provided all the applicants for the interview process too. In fact, you can buy shirts that say “Troy Police Feline Unit: Purrrtect and Serve,” and all proceeds will benefit the Michigan Human Society
Some happy people have already donated a police cat uniform for the new Pawfficer:
Many other donations have come in, including blankets and cat toys. And Pawfficer Donut loves them all.
Chief Gary Mayer told MLive that people from all around the world have been interested in the Police Cat’s story. “This campaign has helped us connect with thousands of people, not only here in Troy and the Metro Detroit area, but we’ve had people from around the world contact us to do news articles on us.”
4. Another Kitten, Pawfficer Badges, Was Sworn in First, But Had to Retire After Being Diagnosed with Feline Leukemia
The Troy, Michigan Police Department had chosen a different kitten first: the adorable black-and-white fluffball named Pawfficer Badges. Sadly, Badges had to retire after being diagnosed with feline leukemia.
But as both the Michigan Humane Society and the Troy Police Department emphasized, Badges was not going to be euthanized. MHS committed to taking great care of her until a new home is found. Badges could not continue to serve because feline leukemia is highly contagious to other cats. Badges needs a home with no other cats, and with an ability to provide for medical care if needed. If you know of a good home, call 866-MHUMANE. Dr. Robert Fisher told MLive: “Our plan is to find her a suitable home that will be a stress free environment as much as possible.”
Badges originally screened negative for feline leukemia, the Michigan Humane Society shared, but her second screening was positive. FeLV is a viral disease that causes leukemia in cats and can be associated with cancer, anemia, eye disorders, blood disorders, and a weakened immune system. There is no cure, but with a loving home, some cats can still enjoy a long lifespan. But they should not be allowed around non-infected cats, since it’s highly contagious to other cats.
Pawfficer Donut’s name was chosen after placing a strong second in a Twitter vote. Pawfficer Badges placed first, but the name was retired when Badges had to retire.
Troy Police Department’s Twitter feed may very well be the best Twitter feed of any police department. Here are just a few examples:
5. Other Police Departments Are Getting in on the Fun
As the Troy Police Department has enjoyed its journey to finding a new Pawfficer, other police departments are getting in on the fun. Toledo Police issued a challenge in March that if they got 20,000 followers, Chase would be their first police cat. And they reached that goal with 20,200 followers.
The Michigan State Police had a playful exchange with Troy about dogs vs. cats.
What do you think about the police cat? Let us know in the comments below.