PEA RIDGE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Pea Ridge Schools will take on a new method to relive stress and calm students and faculty during the day.

The Pea Ridge Police Department announced starting on Oct. 19, a therapy dog will be added to its school resource officer program.

According to a release, “Koda” will join school resource officer Mindy Fowler and help aid the ongoing violence in schools attributed to the overwhelming mental health concerns across the nation.

Officer Fowler plans to give students input on the final name for the therapy dog, but for now, he is known as Koda. Koda is presently a puppy and will be in training to become a certified therapy canine which will be attained after he turns 1.

Here are some general facts about Koda to help members of the Pea Ridge community get to know him a little better:

  • Koda is a Bernedoodle, a blend between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle. This hybrid breed is bred for the purposes of being the perfect companion dog, according to numerous respected sources of dog breed information.
  • Koda has a non-shedding, hypoallergenic coat which is allergy-friendly.
  • Koda will only work with students who want to work with him. This is to be mindful of students that may not like dogs or have a fear of them.
  • Koda lives with Officer Fowler on a full-time basis. He is up-to-date on vaccinations, has City tags, is socialized with children on an ongoing basis, and is groomed regularly.
  • Koda will be slowly acclimated to the school environment before being utilized in classrooms for any extended period of time.

“We are very excited to see this program grow and the positive effects it will bring to the Pea Ridge School District and the entire community of Pea Ridge. We are very grateful to have dedicated individuals like Officer Fowler whose passions and interests are able to better our department and the great city of Pea Ridge each and every day.”