My child is allergic to dogs
It is understandable that some of you may be concerned about possible allergic reactions to a school dog. However, Beau will be subjected to the most thorough cleaning and grooming regime. He will also only be allowed in situations with students who voluntarily wish to work with him. Your permission will of course be sought in advance of Beau having access to, and working with, your child in school.
Will Beau be properly cared for?
Beau will be extremely well looked after. He will live with a member of staff and their family and will come to school most days but will stay safely in the offices until satisfactory training has been completed. He will then, in time, listen to students read in a controlled setting and will always be accompanied by a trained adult. Beau will undergo thorough and rigorous training (beginning with puppy classes) so will be extremely well-behaved. Whilst Beau is in school he will have access to a dog crate in the offices where he can relax during his non-contact time. Beau will visit the vet regularly for all his injections as well as regular check-ups. If Beau is unwell for any reason he will stay at home with a baby-sitter!
My child is scared of dogs
Some children may have had upsetting experiences and/or have a fear of dogs (or other animals). Beau will only be in contact with children whose parents are happy for their child to work with him. However, Beau’s training will help him to be calm and gentle around children; he is already showing signs of a very loving and gentle nature. Experience and research has shown that, with proper guidance and handling, children can learn to overcome their fear of animals and grow in respect and appreciation for them.
The school has a ‘no dogs’ policy
Our school does have a ‘no dogs’ policy. However, as Beau is training to be a ‘wellbeing’ dog, specific rules will apply to him, as a member of staff. He will be on a lead when moving around the school site and will always be accompanied by a trained adult. Beau will also be fully insured to carry out his role thus allowing him to be on the school site. Beau will not be allowed to roam the site freely so there will be no issues with toileting etc.
To support this, we have also developed a robust risk assessment and routines to keep all members of our community safe and the dog happy and secure. However, the key points are highlighted below.
· Pupils will not be left unsupervised with the dog and there will always be adult supervision from staff experienced with dogs
· No child, or adult, will need to come into contact with the dog unless they want to
· There will be no direct cost to the school and the dog will be fully insured in and out of school
· The school dog will be professionally trained prior to coming into school and this will continue with staff and students in the future
· The dog will not be left at school overnight and will be promised a loving home after the “day job” is over!