The Plymouth County Comfort Dogs Program

Comfort Dog Logos

History Of Our Program:

In March of 2021, the Hingham Police Department contacted the Plymouth County District Attorney’s office to inquire about funding for the acquisition of a Comfort Dog for the Hingham Community. After researching the benefits that a comfort dog could provide to law enforcement and their respective communities, District Attorney Tim Cruz awarded the Hingham Police Department with a Comfort Dog mini-grant to start a pilot project that quickly expanded into the Plymouth County Comfort Dogs Program.

District Attorney Cruz developed the Plymouth County Comfort Dogs Program to provide additional services and resources to all communities within Plymouth County. The Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office provides a mini-grant to Plymouth County Police Departments to assist with costs associated with acquiring, training and caring for their comfort dog.

Our Design:

Our program is designed to be implemented by either the local School Resource Officer or the Police Department’s Community Outreach Officer, who in turn become the dog’s handler and sole caretaker.  Both the handler and the comfort dog become members of the Plymouth County Comfort Dogs Program and are required to undergo all necessary trainings in the certification process to qualify as a comfort / therapy / community resource dog.  Both the handler and comfort dog are available to assist not only in their community, but in all communities across Plymouth County as part of our regional response team.

About Our Program:

Our network of Plymouth County Comfort Dogs are present in our schools to provide emotional support for students during the day, and the community at night and on weekends. Our handler and comfort dog teams work with the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office staff at community events across Plymouth County and will also provide comfort services at our Children’s Advocacy Center and office. Our comfort dog teams are on hand as part of our regional response team to provide mutual aid to communities in times of crisis.

Our Purpose:

The opioid crisis has greatly affected not only Massachusetts, but Plymouth County in particular.  Our county has unfortunately witnessed thousands of overdoses and overdose deaths, many of whom were young adults. The ripple effect extends far into the community as family, friends, neighbors, and schools try to cope with the aftermath.  Our comfort dogs are proving to be a tremendous asset by providing comfort services to those in their community who have been affected by these ripples. 

The mission and purpose of the Plymouth County Comfort Dogs Program is to provide comfort and emotional support for the well-being of Drug Endangered Children, students with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and others that require this service within the Plymouth County community.  

Our Expansion:

Currently, we have 22 dogs in our program.

In January 2024, the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office received approval for a change of scope to our existing DOJ / COSSUP Drug Endangered Children’s Initiative Grant. The DOJ approved the reallocation of $447,000.00 to the Plymouth County Comfort Dog Program for training, equipment and an academic evaluation of our program for 15 of our comfort dogs that regularly visit our K-12 schools.

Our Comfort Dog program has expanded to include 4 additional Comfort Dogs that work outside of the K-12 school systems. These four dogs also work in our communities and are members of our regional response team. We have 2 Comfort Dogs from Bridgewater State University who work with the students on campus, a comfort dog from the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department who regularly visits with Senior Centers and a comfort dog at the Marshfield Boys & Girls Club who works with students after school.

Follow us: