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First responder mental health group offering trained service dogs

Heroes Comfort will cover all costs for those agencies that get dogs


A puppy takes a nap after training to be a service dog.

Photo/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health/Wikimedia

This article has been updated to reflect the new application deadline of June 30.

By Leila Merrill

LACONA, Iowa — A nonprofit is offering service dogs to first responders, correctional officers, 911 dispatchers, military veterans and staffers of emergency departments and intensive care units.


A puppy in training to be a service dog takes a nap.

Photo/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health/Wikimedia

Heroes Comfort, which offers online mental health services to support first responders and veterans, is encouraging these groups to apply for a trained service dog. Service dogs and therapy dogs can help people who have experienced trauma and stress.

All costs will be covered, including training for the dogs.

Mike Crowe, executive director and founder of Heroes Comfort, said in a news release that the nonprofit established the project because of the high demand for service dogs.

People can nominate themselves or others for one of the four free service dogs.

Applications are due by June 30.

To apply, send a service animal application, a brief statement about why the potential recipient deserves the service dog, and the potential winner’s contact information to with a subject line of “Service Animal Application.” Applications can also be mailed to P.O. Box 213, Lacona, IA 50139 or by calling 844-443-7671.

Winners will be announced by the end of the month and will be announced on the nonprofit’s website.