Meet Kota: Long Island’s First Funeral Comfort Canine
Here at Moloney Family Funeral Homes, we realize many people walk through the doors of our Long Island facilities feeling sad, stressed, and overwhelmed. Owners Daniel and Peter Moloney and the rest of our caring staff make every effort to create a warm, welcoming environment so families are as relaxed as possible when planning a funeral, cremation, or burial. We have one very special member of our team who is especially adept at putting people at ease while bringing a smile to their face: our therapy dog, Kota!
As the first certified grief therapy dog in the area, Kota, a Weimaraner/Lab mix, is specially trained to detect human emotion and obey certain cues. He senses those who need attention most, and provides comfort in a way people simply cannot. Dog lovers can attest to the way their pets help them feel more at ease, even in tense situations, and there are numerous studies to prove it. Research shows that interacting with animals – especially dogs – has many benefits, including lowering blood pressure, increasing feelings of optimism, and meeting a need for security. One study in the American Journal of Cardiology even found that pets can be linked to the heart’s ability to adapt to stressful events.
When we meet with a family and they spend time petting and talking to Kota, the soothing effect is often instantaneous, as Kota brings a sense of serenity to any room. Whether it’s a gentle nudge in the arrangement office, or his quiet, calming presence during a funeral service (upon request), Kota has an uncanny way of knowing how to console the grieving. We’ve seen children open up about their feelings, and teens and adults become visibly less distraught in his presence. “Families tell me after Kota spent some time with them that they love him,” says Peter Moloney. “That it was such a nice thing to have him be around them to offer comfort in a different way.”
Kota’s sweet and docile personality is a true gift, made even more special knowing his life was almost cut short. He was scheduled to be put down when the Moloney family met him and, shortly after, brought him home. Now three years old, Kota spreads joy to everyone who meets him. Says Peter, “He’s the best dog I’ve ever had.”
We encourage you to plan a visit to meet Kota at one of our locations in Lake Ronkonkoma, Holbrook, Central Islip, Port Jefferson Station, Bohemia, Center Moriches, or Hauppauge – and to say hello to the rest of our team. You can explore the many services we offer, including our resources for those who are healing after a loss. Kota’s presence is one more way we make a difference for the families we serve. In this case, a cute, cuddly, lovable difference. Reach out to us today to learn more about what sets Moloney Family Funeral Homes apart.