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Positive Pooch; Companion Dog Coming to WSC

As part of the College’s Positive Education focus, an adopted, rescue greyhound called Boots is being introduced into the Learning Resource Centre on a trial basis. Having a companion dog in the College will hopefully bring many benefits to the students and staff and the wider community.

Boots is a four year old greyhound owned by a staff member, Liz Povah. Boots has a very gentle nature and has been assessed as being perfect for a companion dog. (See profile attached) He wears a green collar which means by law he doesn't have to wear a muzzle in public. Boots will be easily identifiable as he will always be wearing his College coat. It is planned that he will be brought in 2 days a week as a trial until Term 4.

Grey hounds are very low allergenic. They have a short coat and no undercoat. A check of all the students’ medical records has shown that we have no students with reported dog allergies. As an added precaution the west side of the Library will be kept dog free and emergency plans and procedures have been put in place. 

There is a lot of evidence to support the benefits of having companion animals, particularly with students who have Autism or other disabilities. Dogs have been shown to help with a range of other mental and physical conditions. They help to improve stress levels, relieve high blood pressure, build confidence and empathy, increase communication and interaction with others etc.

Boots will be closely supervised by a staff member at all times, and students will be provided with information about how to interact with Boots and behave around him. It would be appreciated if parents and guardians could also support this program by discussing dog etiquette with their children. See the notes attached.

A lot of work has gone into the planning and risk management process before introducing "Boots" to the students and staff. Approval has been sought from the Regional Office, Principal, Animal Ethics’ Committee, Cleaners and other interested parties. It is hoped that this innovative program will spread to other schools and also help promote greyhound rescue and adoption to people who may be interested.

We are hoping to start this Wednesday with a visit from "Boots".  Please contact Julie Robinson or Liz Povah if you have any questions or concerns.  Students and parents are welcome to visit the display in the Learning Resource Centre.

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Information about Boots

Interacting with a dog