COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A special dog named Maverick celebrated his first birthday with a significant milestone under his belt.

The male Goldador Retriever recently completed his training and certification through The Alliance of Therapy Dogs and is now a Columbus police therapy dog. Maverick was acquired through a donation from Sheryl Aeschliman at Buckeye Kennels.

In May 2022, the Columbus Division of Police launched a social media campaign in which community members made suggestions and voted on a name. Maverick was the winning name and the special canine has become an integral part of the division’s therapy dog program.

Columbus police therapy dog, Maverick, celebrates his first birthday. (NBC4 Photo/Thomas Gardner)

Maverick and his handler, Officer Dave Miller, will now help division personnel and residents experiencing trauma with personal visits to schools, hospitals, court testimony, and neighbors in the community. The therapy dog program is a part of the CPD’s community outreach initiatives and has proven to be a valuable resource.

After Maverick was congratulated on completing his training, the hard-working pup got to enjoy his own special cake. He also showed off his basic and advanced training commands in a demonstration for everyone in attendance.