TURNERS FALLS — A 5-week-old chocolate Labrador named Mack is headed to the Gill-Montague Regional School District next month to become the first full-time school comfort dog in Franklin County.
Mack will work with School Resource Officer Dan Miner to establish stronger rapport with students, and to help in difficult situations involving emotional trauma or other special needs, he said.
Miner, a Montague police officer, is now in his second year as the school resource officer for Gill-Montague. Last year, while taking a class on therapeutic work, Miner heard about a dog breeder in New Hampshire who was donating dogs to police departments.
Miner, Montague Police Chief Chris Williams and Gill-Montague Superintendent Michael Sullivan quickly made an arrangement with the breeder. The School Committee, reviewing the plan this week, was enthusiastic; so was Joanne Menard, the principal of Great Falls Middle School and Turners Falls High School, where Miner spends most of his working hours.