Franklin County Sheriff’s Office welcomes second therapy dog

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — In April, we introduced you to Mattis, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office first-ever therapy dog. Now the program is going so well they have a new addition to their team.

The new therapy dog program in Franklin County with Mattis is really making a difference. So much so that there’s a new guy on the force to join him, named Stark.

“Stark was from Brevard County Florida, a Pomeranian mix, he is a year and a half old. He was a rescue so when they found him he was only 8 pounds, very malnourished. They couldn’t tell if he was a male or female so they originally named him Hope, said Deputy Tyler McDowell.”

Soon after they found out he was a boy and named him Tony Stark after Iron Man.

“He got involved in the program because down in Florida the Sheriff’s Office in Brevard county runs the dog pound,” Deputy McDowell.

They select the K-9s and a trainer thought Stark would make the perfect therapy dog. So just how important is the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office therapy dog program?

“Kids that have been abused in general actually have a voice. They introduce these dogs – the kids can pet the dogs feel more relaxed and then tell their side of the story,” said Deputy McDowell.

Mattis’ handler, Deputy Sheriff Darrah Metz is proud to have both dogs with the department.

“His job is to make people happy but I am the lucky one because I get to have him all the time, he’s a character he’s funny. Very blessed very lucky to have this job with him,” Metz said of Mattis.

Deputy McDowell adds Stark is with him 24/7. “He loves my two little boys I have at home and they love him to death too. He is a great addition to our family.”

Both Mattis and Stark are best buds.

“They’re brothers, they love to play… Nonstop from the morning they see each other they just play,” said McDowell.

If you would like to meet both Mattis or Stark you can reach out to the Franklin County Sheriffs Office Community Relations Unit at 614-525-4507 or email Deputy Metz at

You can also find both dogs on their very own Facebook page under FCSO Therapy Dogs. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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