Paw Patrol: Tri-State schools add support dogs to counseling staffs

Butler, Warren County schools add dogs to counseling staff

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Schools in Butler and Warren County have brought in Labrador Retrievers to help their students deal with stress.

Lucy the pup is an intern with the counseling staff at Mason Intermediate School. She’s used to help alleviate stress for those kids who have problems piling up.

Sara Kranson is one of Lucy’s handlers.

“We just need her to love the students and let the kids have someone that doesn’t judge them," she said. “They are going through so much stress that it’s hard for adults to really understand what our students are going through. They’re not living in the same world that we grew up in.”

Jen Russell works with Bendi, a dog at Creekside Early Childhood School in West Chester.

“She is able to help a child that comes with a lot of big feelings and help them settle down,” Russell explained.

Both Lucy and Bendi were donated by Circle Tail in Pleasant Plain, where each school’s counselor received training to make sure the dogs were ready to help the stressed-out students.

The dogs have been trained not to approach students. Instead, they let students come to them.

“I think it’s making it a little easier for schools to actually be able to have a dog in the building where it’s not a place where it’s a financial burden,” Kranson said.

That said, there are some students that don’t care for the dogs and others who battle allergies. It’s a situation the schools are well aware of.

“We did have to check in with the nurses and make sure that if there is a student that has an allergy of any kind that we try to avoid the space that student is in,” Kranson explained.

“If there was a student that had allergies, we made sure that we made their classroom a ‘no-Bendi zone,’” Russell added. “So that we’re respecting their wishes, and we’re int he process of ordering a Bendi stuffed animal so those kids can experience Bendi time as well.”

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