SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - The 49ers have a new team member. Her name is Zoey and she is a one-year-old French bulldog.
Zoey is the team's emotional support dog, the first of her kind in the NFL.
"She loves playing with balloons. We blow balloons up in here a lot. She'll almost play volleyball with the guys and hit them back and forth. She loves treats so we keep the treats around and we are working on doing shake, sit, lay down... all of those things," said director of player engagement, Austin Moss.
Defensive lineman Solomon Thomas helped get Zoey on the team. After a staff member's dog was visiting for several days, Thomas convinced Moss to get a full-time companion for the team.
"It makes me kind of relaxed and refreshed," said Thomas, who had recently gone through the loss of his sister before Zoey joined.
Zoey has her emotional support dog certification and the director of player engagement says the benefits of having her around have been immediately evident.
"I knew it was a good impact having a dog," said Moss, after seeing how Zoey helped the team.