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New Southington K9 named in honor of young man

New Southington K9 named in honor of young man
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 6:23 PM EDT
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SOUTHINGTON, CT (WFSB) - There’s a new member of the Southington Police Department.

Meet K9 Luke Jacob!

He’s expected to help the community and is named in honor of a young man who died in 2019.

“Jacob Perkins is the reason he’s here, and we wanted to make sure everyone knew why he’s here,” said Lt. Steven Cifone with Southington police.

“Jacob was 20 years old at the time he ended his life,” said Dawn Perkins, Jacob’s mom. “He had a heart of gold, he really did, and he really truly loved animals. And this would make him happy, truly, truly happy. I just hope people do realize there’s help for suicide. You don’t have to go down the path alone.”

The Jacob Perkins Memorial Fund was created in December of 2020 to benefit the Southington Emotional Support Dog Program or Police K9 Unit.

Cifone found the K9 for Warriors Program, which started a station dog initiative.

Dogs, like K9 Luke Jacob, come fully trained as emotional support companions, and mostly work inside departments, like in Southington.

“In the three weeks that he’s been here just the feeling, the atmosphere that he brings from being here you have the officers that come in off their shift and there’s not a single officer here that doesn’t call out to him and go over and spend a couple minutes, you’ll see guys get down on the floor in the middle of the hallway and they’re playing with the dog, I mean it’s amazing,” Cifone said.

Dawn Perkins says it’s a full circle moment for her.

“When I started to pet him, and he rested his chin into my hands and looked into my eyes I felt this overwhelming sense of peace that my son was telling me mom it’s going to be ok. Like somehow my son is somewhere in that dog. And his sense of compassion, my son’s sense of compassion lives on in that dog and you know, hopefully we’ll be able to spread that compassion throughout this town and throughout this program,” Dawn said.

K9 Luke Jacob is already out working in the community, heading to schools providing comfort to those in need.

If you’d like to contribute to the Jacob Perkins Memorial Fund, click here.