Meow the 75th – Pawfficer Donut Keeping Paw and Order

Police job advert: Cat wanted. Dogs need not apply.

As strange as it sounds, cats as police cats are no longer a fiction despite the cat’s notorious unwillingness to do what you want when you want it. Because the cats don’t have to do anything but be themselves in the job.

Every cat is cute, and that is the only requirement the job applicant has to fulfil. Police cats are no substitute for police dogs but perhaps as important. A police cat is employed for her (or his) appeal to the public.

Public services, such as the Troy Police Department in Michigan (US), have started to recruit cats as public relations officers to connect with the public and make the organisations’ staff more human. And, judging by people’s reactions, the cats are brilliant at their job.

A police cat for 10,000 followers

Pawfficer Donut, the police cat, is the result of a twitter campaign: 10,000 twitter followers by the end of April 2018 would get Troy PD a police cat. The tweet went viral, and followers flocked in wanting to see a police cat. The feline craze of the internet worked as a powerful tool for Troy PD.

Troy PD’s quest for a police cat attracted US-wide media attention. Fairly soon after the appeal for more followers started, the press jumped on the police cat bandwagon. TV covered live the press conference in which the first police kitten, Pawfficer Badges, was chosen. Sadly Badges had to be retired as she was feline HIV positive.

Live TV was present when the subsequently selected Pawfficer Donut was sworn in in front of a judge like a real police officer. That bit actually ended up in one of the popular US late night shows.

Pawfficer Donut is sworn in

Social outreach and community cat

From the very beginning, the public was involved in the quest for Troy PD’s police cat: the general public, charities, and children. Now that Troy PD has a police cat, the cat does her bit in connecting people.

Troy PD’s police cat, who was named Donut in a public vote, is now featuring in the tweets by Troy PD to warn people against drunk driving, to keep the local community spirit up, or to support charities, such as the Michigan Humane Society. Pawfficer Donut’s job description is to work as a social outreach and community cat.

And Pawfficer Donut brings in good PR. Pawfficer Donut has been creating headlines for the police force, giving the police force a human touch, and making them part of the community.

Paw enforcement and society

A cat who creates a positive environment in a community has an important job. The positive vibes she (or he) sends out are more than welcome for any public service, such as the police, especially in times when police is often accused of brutality and racism by the press.

The simple formula of working with the cuteness of a cat works well for a communication strategy. A police cat, therefore, is no longer a strange thing.


OpenEdition suggests that you cite this post as follows:
Edith Podhovnik (July 14, 2018). Meow the 75th – Pawfficer Donut Keeping Paw and Order. Meow Factor. Retrieved July 19, 2024 from https://doi.org/10.58079/rdrc


Edith Podhovnik

a linguist researching language #purrieties and #meowlogism-s •alumna of SwanseaUni • loves cats • writes about cats

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