The Yuba City Police Department in Northern California recently welcomed a new addition to their team — a support rabbit named Officer Percy.
The brown-and-white bunny was discovered by Officer Ashley Carson while she was on patrol early one October morning on Percy Avenue.
Carson described her meeting with the stray rabbit: “I started to call him and said, ‘Here, bun, bun!’ He came running to me. He stood on his hind legs and I picked him up.”
Knowing that such a “docile and friendly” rabbit was likely a lost pet, the department put out a call for Percy’s owner, but no one stepped up to claim him. Police Services Analyst Chelsea McCready decided to adopt him, naming him after the street where he was found.
Percy was eventually promoted to the rank of “wellness officer” at the agency, just in time for Easter Sunday. He comes to work with McCready every day, and even picks up some additional shifts so that employees working overnight can spend time with him. He has his own office at the station with a pen, litter box, food and toys.
According to the department, Percy spends his days lounging and serving as a “support animal for all.”
In an interview with CBS Sacramento, Lieutenant Michelle Brazil spoke highly of the cuddly creature’s positive effect on her and her fellow officers. “I just love how soft he is. I think that’s what I love the most. Being able to hold him, pet him and just step back from that situation, regroup, is vital to their mental wellbeing,” she said.
In a Facebook post, the YCPD described its wellness program as supporting the mental and physical health of employees and their families. The program also provides tools and resources to alleviate stress and foster well-being.
The Yuba City Police Department hopes that Officer Percy will continue to bring joy and wellness to their team and community in the future. Percy also accompanies officers to community events and schools, and he’s a popular sight when kids visit the police department on field trips.
Brazil believes that Percy can build relationships between the community and the police and foster trust.