Toledo Police Chief George Kral gets a close look at the department's new kitten Thursday, July 12, 2018 at the Toledo Area Humane Society in Maumee.
A unlikely suspect joined the Toledo Police Department’s family Thursday.
He has four paws, is covered in black and white fur, and he scurries across the floor to play at the sight of a feather. But he really enjoys snuggling with his new mother.
A 2-month-old kitten was selected and adopted from the Toledo Area Humane Society Thursday. It’s the department’s first “police cat.”
The kitten, whose name will be selected during a voting contest, went home with Danielle Dressel. The kitten will live with Mrs. Dressel and her family, including her husband, Toledo Police Department Sgt. Don Comes — the handler for K9 Luke — their children, and two other cats.
The kitten, who is primarily black but has a white stomach, paws, and chin, was selected by the family Wednesday.
“We came in yesterday and we played with all of the cats. The one that was the most affectionate is the one that we picked,” Mrs. Dressel said, as she held the purring kitten who nuzzled into her arm. “He’s so sweet.”
Mrs. Dressel held the kitten Thursday before taking him home. He rested his chin on her wrist.
It wasn’t too long until the kitten wanted to play. He bolted across the room and chased a pen Toledo Police Chief George Kral dragged across the floor.
Chief Kral previously mentioned the idea of getting a police cat to Mrs. Dressel. She thought it may be a good time to adopt the kitten as the family recently had to put down a 15-year-old cat, who grew up with Mrs. Dressel’s son, Noah.
“We believe in re-homing and giving all animals a home. I’m not a cat-mill, puppy-mill person,” Mrs. Dressel said. “I think it’s just good timing for our family with the loss of our other cat. We’re obviously animal lovers.”
The other cats — including one who was recently adopted from the humane society — and K9 Luke get along with other animals, Mrs. Dressel said.
“The cat will be making a lot of cameo appearances at the police department,” Chief Kral said.
The police department is now hosting a naming contest. The top names will then be voted on, said Toledo Police Department spokesman Lt. Kevan Toney.
The idea behind getting the police cat came in March after Toledo Fire and Rescue Department Assistant Chief Karen Marquardt challenged Toledo Police Chief George Kral on social media. She said if Toledo police got 10,000 followers on social media, they should get a “comfort cat.”
The fire department has a comfort dog, Smokey, so it only made sense for police to get a comfort cat, she said.
Similarly, the Troy Police Department in Michigan adopted a police cat after reaching its goal of getting 10,000 followers on its Twitter account. The challenge was issued when @TroyMI_police had approximately 4,000 followers.
Toledo police agreed to Assistant Chief Marquardt’s challenge if they received 20,000 followers.
On Thursday, the Toledo police’s Twitter account exceeded its follower goal by about 1,000. Lieutenant Toney said its Instagram account did not gain as many followers as hoped, but he said it was the right time to pay up for the challenge.
When Assistant Chief Marquardt learned Thursday police officials selected a cat, she was beyond excited.
“I think it’s awesome. I think it really goes to show that Chief Kral is a cat person,” she said, adding she was going to call and congratulate the police chief.
We stopped by @ToledoHumane yesterday & selected a #policecat. There are plenty of dogs & cats there in need of a good home. Now... Reply w/ your name suggestions prior to the #toledopolice #policecat swear-in w/ @gkraltoledo. pic.twitter.com/m0hA21ABCs— Toledo Police (@ToledoPolice) July 12, 2018
The real purpose of the challenge was to generate conversation about shelter animals in need of homes.
Lieutenant Toney previously said the cat will live with an employee, although the police department will assist with funding the cat’s adoption fees and care.
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