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Program That Put Dogs in Classroom Deemed a Smashing Success, Expands to Other Locations

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@NYCSchools/Twitter

After a pilot program putting therapy dogs in classrooms was deemed successful, the Department of Education in New York City has decided to expand it to include additional schools.

Last year, seven New York schools partnered with animal rescue group North Shore Animal League to bring trained dogs into the classroom to help comfort students, provide support to staff and defuse tense situations with kids. Because of the feedback from students and teachers, the program got the green light to expand this coming year.

Related: Abused Dog Now Helps Abused Children

NYC DOE

“I’m so excited to be bringing comfort dogs to over 30 additional schools,” Chancellor Carmen Fariña told the NY Post. “These dogs comfort both students and staff, help to de-escalate issues and even provide bereavement support.”

Related: Adorable Therapy Dog Lifts the Spirits of Young Fan with Rare Neurological Disorder

To be part of the program, a staff must commit to adopt the therapy dog, who is trained and screened before entering a school, and then apply to be part of the program.

NYC DOE

The program is part of bigger initiative to help improve the school environment and its mission is to provide “social and emotional competence, academic achievement, and awareness of the needs of shelter pets,” Holness said.

“Having these dogs has encouraged students to socialize and build stronger relationships . . . there’s no question that the dogs are making a major impact,” Farina told the outlet.

Related: NYC Organization to Hold Gala for Its Therapy Dogs and Prison Program

By Andrea Huspeni

Andrea Huspeni is the founder and CEO of This Dog's Life. Her mission it to help dogs live a happier, healthier and longer life. When she isn't working, she spends time with her two dogs, Lola and Milo. She resides in Brooklyn, NY.

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