Cumberland County Launches New Dog Therapy Wellness Initiative

CUMBERLAND COUNTY — The Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders has announced a new wellness initiative for all county employees which uses dog therapy to give emotional support to county workers.

The Workplace Employees Living Life, K-9 W.E.L.L. program, consists of two yellow Labradors named Morgan and Denton, Ezekiel a boxer, and Chihuahua named Prince. The dogs are apart of Alliance of Therapy Dogs, a national organization which provides dog therapy to schools and college campuses, nursing homes, cancer centers, hospitals, and rehab facilities.

“The program features trained handlers and their dogs who make themselves available when needed and called upon to provide comfort and care to employees,” Cindy Hickman, Cumberland County’s director of Training and Development said. “We will also make random visits to County departments in an effort to make the program’s benefits.”

Originally, the Office of Emergency Management, the Department of Workforce Development, the Health Department, and the County Administration Office benefited from the program, but now it’s opened to all county employees.

“K-9 W.E.L.L. is just one step in an expanding wellness initiative for Cumberland County workers”, stated Director Derella. “The Freeholders encourage our County Administration’s leadership to look for opportunities to enhance the wellness of our employees and recognize the multiple benefits dog therapy offers,” Freeholder Director Joseph Derella said.