Following Officer Red Dogg’s death, Campus Safety hires Bessie Beagle

A plump elderly beagle takes a nap in a soft pink dog bed.
Officer Bessie Beagle takes a nap after a long shift of patrolling the Claremont Colleges with Campus Safety. (Amy Best • The Student Life)

After its first canine officer, Red Dogg, died in January, Campus Safety welcomed 9-year-old Officer Bessie Beagle to their team last week, according to a press release.

“We will always miss Red, but all of us at Campus Safety are thrilled to have [Beagle] join the team,” Director of Campus Safety Stan Skipworth said.

Beagle’s first day was March 25, according to her Twitter account.

A certified emotional support animal, she serves as an in-house greeter, providing comfort and companionship to Campus Safety visitors, according to the press release. Beagle also attends a variety of events such as student orientations, services fairs and athletic events, Skipworth said via email.

She accompanies officers on foot patrol and helps students who need emotional support after a difficult experience, according to Skipworth. Beagle’s radio call sign is “K-9-2.”

Beagle was adopted from Priceless Pets, an animal rescue organization in Claremont. She spent a year at a rescue organization on the East Coast before moving to California to try to find a new home.

Stan Skipworth, a middle-aged caucasian man in a light green short sleeve button up and light olive cargo pants lies on the ground of the Claremont College's Campus Safety Department with Officer Bessie, a cute and portly old beagle.
Stan Skipworth, Director of Public Safety, cuddles with Officer Bessie Beagle on the floor of the Campus Safety building. (Courtesy: Moya Carter)

“We did a lot of searching to ensure we found a dog with the right temperament, disposition and energy level,” Skipworth said in the press release. “We are certain we made the right choice. [Beagle] has greatly enjoyed occasional walks around the campuses and welcoming visitors as she settles into her new role.”

Skipworth originally introduced the idea of employing a Campus Safety dog to connect the 7C community with Campus Safety resources over a year ago.

Beagle lives with Skipworth’s family, and he takes her home when she needs a break. According to Skipworth, her schedule varies but she will spend a lot of time at Campus Safety, including evenings, nights and weekends through the remainder of this academic year and when classes resume in the fall.

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Over the summer, Beagle will have a modified work schedule, Skipworth said.

“We have had nothing but positive responses to our animal ambassador program. [Beagle’s] predecessor, Red, developed a significant following among the campus community and helped Campus Safety to connect with students and employees among the 7Cs,” Skipworth said. “[Beagle] has already picked up where Red left off and is starting to have visitors who want to meet the newest member of our team/family.”

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Siena Swift

Siena Swift PO '22 is intending to major in politics. She is from Kailua, Hawai'i and is a news staff writer.

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