YORK, Maine — Move over, MrBeast. There’s a new force making waves on TikTok with chocolate brown fur and a York police badge.
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“What crime does one need to commit to get ‘attacked’ by him?” asked one social media commenter under the first reel posted by York police of Major, their new comfort dog. The chocolate Labrador retriever received 2.5 million views in his debut on TikTok — merely running down the hall with a badge around his neck.
Comments were filled with adoration, as well as police puns.
“I surrender to this pup,” wrote one commenter. Another asked, “If I’m ever stopped up there, can I request his paw print on my ticket?”
Animal reels on TikTok have become increasingly popular. Major, who came to the department in November, is making his own splash now with hundreds of thousands of views. His actual followers only amount to 19,500, which is still lower than the York Police Department’s Facebook page. His short videos have significant reach, though, with 437,300 “likes” and more than 3 million plays.
“It’s pretty wild,” said York police officer Mike Taddei, Major’s handler who takes care of the puppy. Taddei runs the account to show what Major is up to in the community. He said Major has begun to meet people in town through visits to public places like schools and hospitals.
Previous story:York police welcomes new comfort pup Major
Major is the second dog to come to the department in the last year to serve as a comfort dog. Comfort dogs are trained to provide emotional support to people who have experienced trauma, such as crime victims and children. They also help officers cope with the stress and challenges of their job.
Taddei, who lives with Major, said the social media presence helps the dog connect with the community. Major’s videos often feature a voice-over that Taddei writes to make it sound like Major is speaking.
Often, the videos are silly, like when Major visited a dodgeball event at York High School.
“You’re telling me they throw balls at each other, but no one tries to chew on them, or eat them, or take them away?” Major narrates in the reel. “Or even play fetch? I don’t understand.”
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After the debut video got 2.5 million views, the next highest count came when Major got his first “pup cup” from Starbucks. More than 676,600 users saw that reel. Viewers commented about getting a kick out of the puppy falling asleep in the cruiser and resting his head on Taddei’s flashlight.
Major was 14 pounds when he arrived at the department. Taddei said he appears to have already doubled in size. He said socialization has gone well with Major, and he has already made an impact on people in the community.
Having a big social media presence helps get the word out about Major’s good work.
“We can definitely use it to highlight the impact that Major’s having,” Taddei said.
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