PEABODY (WBZNewsRadio) - Peabody Public Schools has a new comfort dog, but the pup isn't just bringing comfort to students in need, she's honoring the spirit of a young girl taken too soon from the community.
On Monday, the Peabody School Committee approved School Resource Officer Eric Ricci's introduction of "Ella", an English Black Labrador Retriever. The adorable new addition is named in memory of Ella Jade O'Donnell, who died one month shy of her 11th birthday in 2017 from pediatric brain cancer.
"If I was going to name her anything, it'd be Ella, to keep her memory going." Ricci told WBZ's Brooke McCarthy.
The 10-week old puppy will serve as the Police Department's first emotional-support dog. Ella will visit the city's public schools and provide comfort to those students dealing with stress. Ella will first focus on helping students at the city’s eight elementary schools, but will eventually visit students at Higgins Middle School and Veterans Memorial High School.
WBZ's Brooke McCarthy (@BrookeWBZ) reports