Massachusetts State Police showed off their very first comfort dog in an official introduction Thursday at State Police General Headquarters in Framingham, police said.
Luna, a 4-month-old English black Labrador was bred to be a comfort dog and donated to work in “post-traumatic stress decompression,” State Police said in a statement.
Luna responded to her first assignment last week with her handler, Trooper Chad Tata, to help Springfield officers following a shooting, said David Procopio, spokesman for the State Police.
“She will eventually receive certification that will also allow him to take her out of state to assist at mass casualty incidents as needed,” Procopio said.
Luna lives full-time with Tata and his family, working one-on-one every day preparing her to be certified for civilian interaction.
“The dog will help calm in crisis, to provide aid and comfort to both sworn officers and civilians . . . until such time that the traumatized officer can be referred to other resources,” Tata said at the press conference.
“The function of the comfort dog is to provide relief from stress,” Lieutenant James Massari said at the press conference. “Just the touch of a dog is supposed to calm you down, lower the blood pressure . . . it puts a calming effect on the brain.”