Paw prints

Allie Schultz

Stress Relievers: Now with more fluff

September 23, 2018

School is  very stressful and can heighten students anxiety levels. Possible solutions for students facing this would be to stay organized and stay focused in class. For some students that’s not enough, One way to lighten up a classroom is to provide a therapy dog, or an emotional support animal. According to Therapydogs.com “it has been empirically proven that therapy dogs stimulate memory and problem solving skills along with reduce anxiety levels in students.”

 

What does it take to make a mans best friend a students best partner.”?”

According to the ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act ;which protects those who have any type of disabilities from getting jobs, going to school, or anything else needed in day to day life under federal law; there is extensive training that goes into certifying your dog.

First they must go through basic training which on average can take 2 years depending on your dog. Then they must attend specialized classes, which train the dog to understand how to act in a classroom.

But even after all that what rights does your dog have? In the ADA’s eyes they can only provide legal rights to service animals which could be seeing eye dogs, dogs that provide assistance to those suffering diabetes, seizures, or PTSD, or in the ADA’s words,” A service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.”

That then leaves the emotional support animals and comfort animals (which are only protected by the states laws addressing these animals.)

So what dogs are allowed in school? Colorado follows the same guidelines as ADA and therefore gives the owner of public accommodation the right to deny entry to therapy dogs, emotional support animals and comfort animals. This gives the district the ultimate say on if our furry companions are going to be allowed.  After many years after extensive training, teachers and staff are welcomed to bring there registered therapy dog to school. But in recent times the district has created new regulations, making the owners of these dogs become registered in the District 51 exclusive training such as Angles in the making. They have been certified with the K9to5 National Therapy Dog Registry. This course cost 150 dollars, is 6 weeks long, and ends with two out of class field trips or sessions to  prepare your dog for the final exam.

This just gives our dogs one more step to help out kids.

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