Crime

WPD officer with animal abuse training to lead cruelty investigations

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) - Taking action! Wichita Animal Control is developing a new process to investigate abuse cases.

Officer Heather Frazier's animal cruelty and abuse investigations will sometimes take her to the streets to find evidence. With her new role, she and the department hope they can prosecute more animal cases to the greatest extent.

It was a joyful reunion between Wichita Police Officer Heather Frazier and her K-9 friend.

"I kind of like his name, it's a good name," said Officer Heather Frazier, Wichita Police.

His name? Frazier, after the officer who took on his recent sexual abuse case.

"It's so horrible and hideous and who would think that anybody would ever do that? Well there are people, and it does happen, and then we need to investigate it just like we would with a human who can't speak for himself, " said Frazier.

Over the last several months, leaders at Animal Control have been talking about how to better investigate felony animal abuse cases, like Frazier's case.

"There wasn't a lot of effort or time put into them in the past, and that's what we want to change, we know that we need to change it," said Lt. Brian Sigman, Wichita Police Animal Services.

Lt. Sigman says they're working on a standard operating procedure that would incorporate Officer Frazier into these investigations. He says her training on animal abuse and her love of animals made her the perfect fit.

"I've gone to trainings offered by the government, through the humane society, through ASPCA," said Frazier.

She's even known by others during her years with the department, as an animal advocate.

"I've taken pet first aid, they joke all the time, if there's a person and a dog they're going to have to wait while I'm doing mouth to muzzle over there...my fellow officers joke about that frequently," said Frazier.

Other animal advocates say they're excited about Officer Frazier and more resources being placed on felony animal abuse.

"Get them into the courtroom, let them stand in front of a judge, let's get these guys convicted for doing these things," said Randi Carter, Beauties and Beasts Rescue.

Officer Frazier says she also wants to educate pet owners with her new role on things like how to evacuate you and your pet in a disaster situation, and also how to spot and report abuse. Frazier plans to start training soon to be a therapy dog for survivors of sexual abuse.


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