Luna, a 6-month-old retriever donated by Paws of War, joins the office’s health department.

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, Suffolk County Sheriff Errol D. Toulon, Jr. introduced Luna, the newest “recruit” to the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office earlier today. The 6-month-old English Cream Retriever was donated by Paws of War, a nonprofit organization that trains and houses service animals for veterans and firefighters. Luna will be the office’s first therapy dog ​​and will work alongside the Suffolk Sheriff’s Office’s Health Unit.

“Traditionally, law enforcement officers have not always sought help when they need it, for fear it will be seen as weak. That’s why a balanced health plan ensures officers have a reliable, trustworthy way to access peer support. Luna will An important addition to our wellness unit as research shows that treating animals can lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, improve mood and promote a sense of support and confidence. Thank you Paws of War for your continued partnership with the Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Toulon.

“Luna is a very special dog who will make a difference in the lives of so many people. Sheriff Toulon has a big vision for this project and we are proud to be a part of it. Thanks Sheriff and his team, and with Paws of Together with War, we will be able to help so many people in need,” said Robert Misseri, president of Paws of War.

The Suffolk County Wellness Unit is one of the only full-time wellness units in Long Island law enforcement agencies designed to enhance the health and wellness of all staff members of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office. By building resilience, injury prevention, peer support programs, physical fitness, proper nutrition, stress management, mindfulness, mental health resources, suicide prevention, and more. Since launching in late 2022, the health department has had more than 1,000 interactions with sworn and clerical staff.

Luna is named after FDNY firefighter Billy Moon, who died during a training exercise in December. Moon’s brother-in-law is a corrections officer for the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office. The family was present at the dog’s naming and dedication.

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