Therapy dogs comfort humans struggling through emotional distress and difficult situations. They can help anyone from young children to seniors. A New Hampshire couple that breeds Labradors wanted to support individuals who deal with trauma and tragedy regularly: first responders. This is how they helped.
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Dogs With a Purpose
Peggi and David Brogan from Boonefield Labradors decided to provide several Northeastern United States police departments with therapy dogs.
Peggi Brogan told CBN News, “It started for us about nine years ago when I got an American Lab and he came and lived with us during a tough time with my health and he’s the one who got me feeling better. So I had always said I was going to give it back. I was going to pay it forward at some point, so that’s how we originally got into the therapy work.”
In April, the Brogan’s gave the Massachusetts State Police their youngest recruit ever, a black Lab named Luna. She is the first comfort dog to serve the police department.
Her handler, Trooper Chad Tata, said, “Just from my background and research, I know that comfort dogs do work. They relieve stress and anxiety and they lower the stress hormone cortisol. It’s good to have them around any officers who experienced any kind of anxiety or anything after a traumatic event.”
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Hank, another service dog from the Brogan’s, works as a School Resource Officer with his handler Officer Brad McNamara. At school, Hank and Brad spend time in the library. When the kids need a break from studying, they visit with Hank. Officer McNamara said in addition to hanging out with the kids, he also aids in de-escalating tense situations.
Also, the chocolate lab helped a fifth grader who didn’t want to return to school after he lost his little brother to cancer. After 45 minutes visiting with Hank, the boy felt ready to return to his studies.
The third dog the Brogan’s donated works at the Hancock, New Hampshire Police Department. His name is Officer Rookie.
Hancock Police Chief Andrew Wood said Rookie loves people and is helping to connect the community with the police force. “I see that it’s brought a lot of our community members and people even outside of our community into the police department just to visit him and it gets a conversation going with the police, which is great,” Chief Wood said.
We commend the Brogans for their generosity. Service dogs have helped mourners after tragedies and even travelers during the stressful holiday season. They work around the country to help those in need and we are grateful for people like the Brogans who bring loving dogs to people in need.
First responders deal with trauma and tragedy on a daily basis. That stress can lead to serious health problems. But one NH family has found a solution, and it’s providing several police departments with a special kind of therapy…
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— Caitlin Burke (@caitlinkburke) June 13, 2019
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