Mike Bowling, Pound Puppies creator and a Nassau County resident, graciously donated several boxes of the cute little stuffed animals to the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office for deputies to have in their patrol cars for use whenever they come across a child in distress or needing comfort due to a stressful situation.
The Pound Puppies will be used throughout the year to give to children in need who deputies encounter when responding to emergency calls. Often times, children are present in homes where domestic violence or other traumatic incidents have occurred that would be scary to a child. The animals will give the children something warm and cuddly to hang on to and thus calm their fears a bit. In addition to the patrol deputies, NCSO’s Detective Division will also utilize them when interviewing young victims of sexual/physical assault and domestic violence. Sheriff Bill Leeper said “These warm and fuzzy friends are one way to ease the fears of young children who are caught in difficult situations, often bringing a sense of security to a child who is overcome with anxiety.”
The toys were created by Mike Bowling in 1984. The first puppies were sold by Irwin Toy in Toronto, Canada. After Irwin, the line was produced by Tonka which introduced them to the US market. In 1987, Hardee’s restaurants also offered a series of Pound Puppies with their Children’s Meals. The puppies are a variety of plush stuffed dog dolls with floppy ears and droopy eyes and are still available in stores today.
Picture: Mike Bowling, Sheriff Bill Leeper and Doug Oliver