Digital First: Northampton gives a helping ‘paw’ for police comfort dog

Hampshire County

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) — The Northampton Police Department teamed up with the Northampton Animal Control to put on a donation drive for a police comfort dog named Douglas.

The community showed up at the Smithland Supply Pet Center of Northampton to show support for the comfort dog. The pup, Douglas, received clean towels, blankets, food, toys and of course plenty of pets.

Northampton School Resource Officer Josh Wallace told 22News that Douglas has helped comfort so many people in western Massachusetts, from students to first responders.

“A lot of people don’t feel comfortable talking about their feelings,” said Officer Wallace. “But when a dog is involved its just that distraction… that stress relief…that euphoric feeling when he’s there and they are able to let their guard down and talk to us.”

Laurie Boulanger, assistant manager of Smithland Supply Pet Center told 22News she wanted to raise awareness in the community of the benefits of having a comfort dog in the area.

“We thought this was a good opportunity to let the public know what’s going on here,” said Boulanger. “We donate what we can. Everything comes out of Officer Wallace’s pocket. I think it is important that when there are issues if someone was displaced because of a fire, or a domestic violence incident, it helps calms the children.”

The Northampton Police Department says any kind of support for the comfort dog program is always welcomed. Donations will also be aiding Northampton Animal Control.

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