Therapy dog comforts students and staff

Therapy dog comforts students and staff

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - With school now in full swing across the Tri-State, one Owensboro middle school is working to relieve stress for its students.

Owensboro Innovation Middle School has a new therapy dog to help students and staff. Her name is Abby and she’s a Doberman Pinscher. Her handler Meggan Clark is a special education facilitator at the school and said Abby’s a perfect fit at the new school.

“We then tried it on the staff here, and they fell in love with her," Clark said. "And I brought her in one day just to kind of see how things went and the kids fell in love with her.”

Abby was trained since she was a puppy to be able to calm down those around her.

“She recognized your heartbeat and when it is rushing she will lay down beside you or she will sit, and she will not move," Clark said.

Clark said Abby’s breed is known to be a worker type and that Abby loves coming to school.

“When we put that vest on she focuses, and she is zeroed in on the students and the staff," she said.

Clark usually walks the halls with Abby, getting a lot of attention, and then into some classrooms where students and staff alike show their appreciation for the pup.

“She just makes it easier because there’s an animal in the room and I like animals," Madeline Payne an eighth-grade student said. "I think animals are unique.”

Clark said Abby is always there for the students in a time that can often be difficult.

“There’s no judgment with them," Clark said. "Somebody could be mad at her and then she’s still going to love them and still accept them. And sometimes that’s what kids need.”

Abby usually comes to school once a week, but Clark hopes to bring Abby more often to benefit the students and staff.

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