Bristol Sheriff’s Office Certifies Two Therapy Dogs Trained In Middleboro

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WBZ’s Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports.

MIDDLEBORO, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio— Two pooches trained in sniffing out COVID-19 have transitioned into certified therapy dogs for veterans through the nonprofit 22 Mohawks.

Duke and Huntah, trained at Professional Canine Services in Middleboro, became certified comfort dogs, the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office announced on Tuesday.

WBZ’s Kim Tunnicliffe spoke with PCS Trainer Charlie Young about the kind of exercises the canines go through to become certified.

“It understands that it’s going to be working for its food, understand that it’s not going to be searching for COVID, but actually be a nice relaxed dog in the schools,” Young said.

The Bristol County Sheriff’s Office says they are already receiving inquiries about comfort dog assistance, following Huntah and Duke’s certification.

PCS officials say therapy training includes desensitizing a dog to loud noises, using wind chimes that clang nearby. Bristol County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Handler Paul Douglas says Huntah and Duke have already acted as therapy dogs when they visited all five Somerset schools following the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvaulde, Texas.

“We let the kids pet the dogs— there was no anxiety, no tension,” Douglas said.

The goal of the dogs’ training is to get them used to staying calm, cool, and collected despite a large ruckus happening within earshot.

“We’ll actually tie them out here and I’ll take some noodles and smack stuff around them. We roll tires behind them, and do fog horns,” Young said.

WBZ’s Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports.