Therapy Dog for Webb Elementary
Therapy Dog for Northwood Elementary
What is the difference between a Service Dog and a Therapy Dog?
What is a Service Dog?
Service Dogs are trained to perform tasks and to do work that eases their handlers’ disabilities. Working as part of a team with their disabled partners, service dogs help them attain safety and independence. It is very important to note that these dogs are not for petting as it could prevent them from performing their job correctly. Most service dogs have a “no petting” policy established by their owners.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects the rights of people with disabilities to be accompanied by their service dogs in public places such as restaurants, grocery stores, and hotels. Additional laws such as the Department of Transportation’s Air Carrier Access Act, the Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Housing Act, and the Federal Rehabilitation Act protect the rights of people with disabilities to be accompanied by their service animals in a wide variety of circumstances under which the ADA may not be applicable.
What is a Therapy Dog?
Therapy dogs also receive training but have a completely different type of job from service dogs. Their responsibilities are to provide psychological or physiological therapy to individuals other than their handlers. These dogs have stable temperaments and friendly, easy-going personalities. Typically, they visit hospitals, schools, hospices, nursing homes and more. Unlike service dogs, therapy dogs are encouraged to interact with a variety of people while they are on-duty including petting the therapy dog.
Therapy dogs may also visit schools, daycares, group homes and rehabilitation centers. Their roles vary from dogs who give learning disabled children the confidence to read out loud, to actively participating in physical rehabilitation therapy. In some cases, a therapy dog will work in an establishment exclusively, such as a psychotherapy practice.
Therapy dogs may be trained by just about anyone, but must meet set standards to be certified and registered and actively participate in the program. They are usually handled by their owners, but at FCS they will be handled by their certified trained handler.
What are the benefits of having a therapy dog in schools?
Lower's blood pressure and stress levels
Increases levels of dopamine and serotonin (the happy hormones in your brain)
Teaches empathy in children
Improves physical well being
Creates of sense of safety and protection
Dramatically increases positive mood
Eases social isolation and helps children learn social skills
Helps young readers gain confidence
Increases positive attitudes toward academic reading
Increases school attendance
Seen as a non-judgmental friend
Provides unconditional love and support
Fulfills the need for touch
Helps students self-regulate faster
What's a Certified Trained Handler?
Certified Trained Therapy Dog Handler - definition; A therapy dog handler is an individual school district staff member who has been individually and certified trained, evaluated, and registered by Ultimate Canine to provide animal-assisted activities, animal-assisted therapy, and animal-assisted interactions on District property or District-sponsored events.
FCS Has (3) Types of Handlers:
Host Home Handler - assumes complete responsibility for the therapy dog, whom the dog will reside with; the primary handler. Responsible for bringing the therapy dog to and from FCSC every day, feeding, walking, and taking to the vet and groomer as needed. Additional duties include bringing the dog to FCSC sponsored events, after school activities and events during the summer (i.e. summer school, Read and Feed).
School Handler - assumes complete responsibility for the therapy dog while providing animal-assisted activities, therapy and interactions with students during the school day. Will assume complete responsibility for the therapy dog in the event the Host Home handler is unable to bring the dog to work (i.e. sick, vacation), or is assisting with a situation where the dog is not needed. Additional duties include bringing the dog to FCSC sponsored events, after school activities and events during the summer (i.e. summer school, Read and Feed).
Support Handler - assumes complete responsibility for the therapy dog, in any event, the host home and primary handler are unable to take care of or get the dog to and from school or events (i.e. sick, vacation). Will assist with getting the therapy dog to and from other schools within the FCS district as needed. Additional duties include assisting the host home and school handler with bringing the dog to FCSC sponsored events, after school activities and events during the summer i.e. summer school, Read and Feed).
Meet the FCS Therapy Dog Handlers
At Northwood Elementary
Host Home Handler - Andrea Korreck, Principal
School Handler - Grace Edwards, School Counselor
School Handler - Elayne Spongberg, Behavior Interventionist
Support Handler - Brianna Belden, Special Education Teacher
Support Handler - Heather Kepner, Teacher
At Webb Elementary
Host Home Handler -Jeff Sewell, Director of Operations and Safety
School Handler - Doug Adams, Behavior Interventionist
School Handler - Angie Clendening, School Counselor
Support Handler - Peggy Kinsey, Teacher
Support Handler - Cole Zook, Principal
Support Handler - Saundra Haslam, Special Education Teacher
Overall Support Handlers
Dr. Clendening, Superintendent
Kimberly Spurling, Director of Mental Health