The Tufts University Police Department is welcoming its first-ever comfort dog on the Medford/Somerville campus this semester. The four-month-old female black Labrador Retriever made her debut this month alongside her handler, Officer Rob Moschella.
The arrival of a comfort dog coincides with ongoing changes within the Department of Public Safety as part of the Working Group recommendations, including the expansion of mental health resources. Unlike K9 or service dogs, the comfort dog will act as a resource for students in stressful or traumatic situations.
In addition to mental health work, the comfort dog and Officer Moschella will attend various campus events as department representatives. While the dog completes her training, she will visit campus intermittently and Tufts Police will work to accommodate requests for her at upcoming events.
As part of her introduction, DPS is hosting a naming contest where Tufts community members can choose from four names, available here. The winning name will be announced on social media in the coming week.
DPS’s comfort dog is a rescue dog trained by Hero Pups in Stratham, New Hampshire. Founded in 2016, the non-profit works to fit both veterans and first responders alike with exceptionally well-trained comfort dogs. For more information, visit heropups.com.