Meet Atticus: Oak Hills' full-time school police dog

Published: Jul. 19, 2013 at 2:09 AM EDT
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BRIDGETOWN, OH (FOX19) - In an effort to reduce violence in school, a group is on a mission to train animals to work as full time school police dogs.

Oak Hills High School will welcome 8-month-old Atticus this school year. He is the first dog to work full time inside any school in southwest Ohio.

On Thursday, FOX19's Brett Hoffland had a look at what Atticus will do on a day-to-day basis and the impact he could have on deterring violence.

"It's been happening far too much," said the owner of American Success Dog Training Mark Gomer regarding school shootings. So, he's using man's best friend to help put an end to the violence.

"It's been proven with the police dogs over the years that going in to visit schools and doing searches and that kind of thing, that it's a big deterrent. So why not have a dog there full time that can do this every day,"said Gomer.

Gomer has been training dogs for twenty years, and he says if they can play a part in protecting any child when it comes to school violence, it's well worth it.

"It's going to be chaos, everybody is scattering. There's no way you can stop someone with a gun, but Atticus has been put through that situation hundreds of times. He loves that situation," Gomer explained.

Gomer stresses that Atticus is on a leash throughout the duration of the day. The Dutch-Shepherd will be handled by a trained school employee and only attacks when instructed.

Atticus will also sniff out a variety of drugs and guns in lockers, which he will do all throughout the day. He sits to indicate he's found something.

"I think it's a win for everyone. It's a win for the students and the school. They're going to be safer. We're going to make sure that nothing that's unwanted gets into the school," said Oak Hills Principal John Stoddard.

After a hard days work at the school, Atticus will be bunking with Principal Stoddard.

"It's very exciting for me, not as exciting for my cats, but I think we'll work through it," he joked.

Atticus will join the rest of the students and faculty for the first day of school this fall.

American Success Dog Training says they've had interest from other local school districts that could welcome a dog into their schools in the next few years.

To learn more about this training, visit

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