WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) The Wichita Police Department has a new plan to tackle the worst animal abuse and animal cruelty cases in the city.
Officer Heather Frazier has been with the department for 20 years as a patrol officer. She's not assigned to animal services, but has extensive training and is a certified animal cruelty investigator. Officer Frazier says she's known as the "dog whisperer." Now, she's taking her training to a new role with the department.
Officer Frazier will respond to all animal calls that could rise to the level of a felony and take the lead on scene. She'll also work directly with a detective to present those cases to the District Attorney's office.
"I've kind of been doing it anyway," said Frazier. "People would call me because they know to call Heather. Or when I show up they're like 'Oh, thank God'."
Lt. Brian Sigman with Wichita Animal Control says the new plan is partly in response to an increase in felony animal cases.
"We knew we needed to do something more than what was being done in the past," said Sigman.
In April, police investigated a case involving a dog with severely broken legs and facial trauma. That same month dogs were rescued from a dog fighting ring.
Officer Frazier helped on a case in May where a puppy was sexually abused. That puppy was named after Officer Frazier and is now on his way to becoming a therapy dog for victims of sexual assault.
"That's why I do it. I saw a dog laying on a table whimpering in pain and shock, to a dog that's happy and enjoying a dogs life," said Frazier.
Justin McClellan, 55, was arrested in connection with Frazier the dog's sexual assault. He is charged with cruelty to animals, a felony, and domestic battery, a misdemeanor. McClellan is scheduled for a preliminary hearing next week.