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JPD Comfort Dog, Hope, Visits Local Schools

JPD Community Resource Officer Matthew Rhinehart, and comfort dog Hope, visited Love Elementary School classrooms. Pictured are teacher Laurie Hind and student Neyomiah Vaughn.
Love Elementary School student, Gracelynn Davis, pets Hope, the JPD comfort dog, with help from her handler, Domestic Violence Officer Officer Emma Ward.
Love Elementary School student, Carolyn Smith, pets Hope, the JPD comfort dog, with help from her handler, Domestic Violence Officer Officer Emma Ward.

The pitter patter of puppy paws echoed in Love Elementary School hallways to the delight of students and staff, thanks to Jamestown Police Department’s comfort dog, Hope, a 9-week-old yellow labrador retriever.

Matthew Rhinehart, JPD community resource officer, and Hope’s handler, Emma Ward, domestic violence officer officer, are visiting local schools to give Hope, the department’s first ever comfort dog, a chance to better learn her job. The officers and Hope have already visited many Jamestown schools spreading “puppy cheer” throughout the buildings.

“Hope will be used in the department to help trauma victims of crimes such as domestic violence, which often have children involved,” Rhinehart said. “We are bringing Hope into the schools so she becomes comfortable around children and to also teach the kids the proper way to pet and approach dogs. She is wonderful. She loves playing with the kids and is going through some training right now learning how to behave like a ‘good girl.'”

Rhinehart and Ward talked to classrooms about what Hope’s job will be in the department, gave tips on how to approach a dog and let everyone have a chance to pet her.

“We were delighted when we got a call that Hope and officers Rhinehart and Ward could come,” said Love Elementary School Principal Connie Foster. “We know that many of our kids love animals but can’t have them at home so they were so excited to see this beautiful little puppy and learn what Hope will do with the police department. Also, the students got to see our police officer in a different light. It’s a great opportunity for Love School and we are so thrilled and thankful they visited.”

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