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.

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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