West Fargo pairing SRO with comfort dog

Photo by: City of West Fargo
Photo by: City of West Fargo

(West Fargo, ND) -- A West Fargo School Resource Office is getting paired up with a comfort dog. It is the first such pairing in the state.

“Our SROs often serve as informal counselors, making this pairing the perfect addition to our community outreach efforts,” said West Fargo Police Chief Denis Otterness. “I’d like to thank SRO Pearson for spearheading this idea to better serve our students and community, and SCHEELS for their support that made this possible.”

The dog will assist elementary SRO Todd Pearson to help students dealing with anxiety and depression.

"West Fargo Public Schools is excited to explore the additional options a comfort dog will provide staff when working with students," said Heather Leas, Director of Health, Safety and Public Relations West Fargo Public Schools. "Whether it's for motivation, engagement, positive behavior support or working through strong emotions, the comfort dog should be an excellent addition to our SRO program. We are grateful to SRO Pearson and the department leadership for including the district in this innovative adventure!"

The pair will also work with improving student morale and increasing positive interactions with students.