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Therapy Dogs

Making a PAW-sitive difference in Bloomfield Hills Schools!

During the 2021-2022 school year, Bloomfield Hills Schools launched its Therapy Dog program.  Five dogs have been placed since September 2021, and you can now find Daisy, Paul, Ollie, Douglas, and Ace, spreading smiles and love across the district. 

Including social emotional support dogs as part of our schools was an initiative that Bloomfield Hills Schools explored for several months, coordinated by our Director of Special Education, Jennifer Perrone and our Director of Instructional Equity, Margaret Schultz. 

Therapy dogs provide students with a friend, and a safe place to come to every day. They create a comfortable, happy, and judgment-free environment. Studies show that children’s reading abilities improve with the use of therapy dogs. Changes in attitudes toward reading, reading skill levels, schoolwork, attitudes toward homework, attendance, and changes in self-esteem and self-confidence can be seen by involving a therapy dog in a school. Therapy dogs have also been known to decrease levels of anxiety. 

We are so excited for these canine buddies to help improve the emotional, social, and academic well being of our school communities.

We recognize that families may have many questions, and may have children with allergies or a fear of dogs. Rest assured, we are planning ahead for these potential concerns. We will create plans to accommodate all students’ needs; please check out the Frequently Asked Questions on this page that will answer many of your questions and concerns.

Is your family or business interested in making a donation or becoming a sponsor? Our social emotional support dogs need your help with food, grooming, vet bills, and more. Make a donation or sponsorship below!

Benefits of Therapy Dogs

  • Enhances relationships with peers and teachers due to experiencing trust and unconditional love from a therapy dog. This helps students learn how to express their feelings and enter into more trusting relationships.
  • Decreases depression and anxiety behaviors resulting in improved learning outcomes.
  • Eases social isolation and helps children learn social skills.
  • Increases in:
    • School attendance
    • Positive moods
    • Reading confidence
    • Positive changes towards learning and improved motivation.
Photos of BHS therapy dogs in action