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!
- 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.
- Increases in:
- School attendance
- Positive moods
- Reading confidence
- Positive changes towards learning and improved motivation.
- Decreases depression and anxiety behaviors resulting in improved learning outcomes.
- Eases social isolation and helps children learn social skills.
- What is the purpose of a Dog Therapy program?
- Who owns the dog?
- How long do the dogs work in the schools?
- Who pays for the grooming, dog food, and veterinary services for the dogs?
- What happens when someone in the school has an allergy to dogs?
- What do you do if someone in the building is afraid of dogs?
- Dogs are not for everyone. What about those of us who don’t like dogs?
- Can we feed the dog any snacks/treats at school?
- Will the staff be trained on how to handle the dog?
- Who will the dog live with?
- Who is the breeder and trainer?
- Why were Lone Pine and West Hills chosen as the first two schools to get Therapy Dogs?