DOE Expands Comfort Dog Program In Schools

(Photo/Nathan Haselby)

After a successful year, the Department of Education (DOE) will be expanding its Comfort Dog Program by adding 30 new schools across the city — nine of them in Brooklyn.

The Comfort Dog Program started last year in seven schools, five of them in Brooklyn. As part of the program, a staff member adopts a dog. The dog is brought into the school to help students and staff with social-emotional learning and improving the school environment. The dogs also assist in bereavement counseling.

“The Comfort Dog program brings a smile to students and staff on a challenging day, helps to de-escalate issues and can even provide bereavement support,” Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said.

“We know students need academic and social-emotional supports to succeed in the classroom and beyond, and comfort dogs are helping nearly 40 schools strengthen their culture and build stronger relationships.”

Each rescue dog is properly evaluated by the North Shore Animal League America. When a school participates, it receives free training in how to incorporate dogs into the emotional-support curriculum. Check to see if your neighborhood school is on the list!

The original:

  • J.H.S. 14 Shell Bank Junior High School
  • M.S. 88 Peter Rouget
  • P.S. 200 Benson School
  • M.S. 266 Park Place Community Middle School
  • P.S. 176

The new Brooklyn additions:

  • P.S. 628 Brooklyn Brownstone School
  • P.S. 90 Edna Cohen School
  • P.S. 231
  • P.S. 532 New Bridges Elementary
  • H.S. 410 Abraham Lincoln High School
  • P.S. 185 Walter Kassenbrock
  • P.S. 506 The School of Journalism & Technology
  • P.S. 373 Brooklyn Transition Center
  • P.S. 224

How do you feel about dogs in school?

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  1. Dear Ms. Zainab Iqbal,
    I found your story about the Comfort Dog quite interesting. What I would really like to know is how I can get in touch with the people at the DOE who are running this program. I guess what I am asking you, Ms. Iqbal is…what is your source?

    Seriously, I would like to enroll my school in the program and anything you could do to help me to make this happen would be greatly appreciated. My name is Orlando Cardoza, I am a Parent Coordinator located in the South Bronx and my Email address is

    Thank you.


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