Canine Therapy

A child sits with assistance dog at The Parish School

What are the Benefits of Animal Therapy?

Therapy animals, especially dogs, have known benefits of enhancing children’s psychological development, improving social skills and increasing self-esteem. Not only can dogs teach responsibility, compassion and respect for other living things, but in a school setting, dogs can be used to calm fears, relieve anxiety and teach skills.

On-Campus Assistance Dog-in-Training

The Parish School benefits from having a dog on campus full-time that is being trained to become an assistance dog. Elementary Speech-Language Pathologist, Heather Hillery is a volunteer puppy raiser with Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit organization that places assistance dogs with individuals who have disabilities. Heather is currently raising her third puppy, Oriana III, at The Parish School with plans to raise more in the future. The puppies accompany Heather to school each day and interact with students in the elementary classes.

Read more about Heather and her work with Canine Companions: