Get ready to squee, Bay Area, as the San Francisco 49ers have just become the first NFL team to employ the services and snuggles of an emotional-support pet. Her name is Zoe, and she is a Frenchie.
The dog came to "live" with the team at Levi's Stadium, as KRON 4 tells us, after defensive lineman Solomon Thomas made the case to the team's director of player engagement Austin Moss that the Niners needed a four-legged friend. Moss consented, citing the fact that Thomas "had just gone through a really tragic experience with losing his sister," and he thought bringing a dog into the players' clubhouse might be good for everyone.
Zoe was featured on Good Morning America this week, which noted that the one-year-old pup "can help players overcome their pregame anxieties or post-game depression."
The dog also has an Instagram account, where you can see her cuddling up with players Azeez Al-Shaair, DJ Reed Jr., Raheem Mostert, and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Zoe hasn't yet undergone any training as an emotional support animal, but she does have her certification as an emotional support pet, KRON 4 reports.
"These guys are very strong powerful men that aren’t used to be able to express their emotions freely,” Moss tells KRON 4. “But when you come in here in a safe space, and you know that it’s just about being yourself and having a good time and getting some help that you may need — Zoe brings a lot of value to that."