Therapy Dog Helps Students Manage Stress
Heritage Elementary School students mob therapy dog Max
Prince George, B.C. – Heritage Elementary School students welcomed a group of therapy dogs during the launch event for Victims and Survivors of Crime Week this morning.
The week-long event is a partnership between RCMP Victim Services, The Elizabeth Fry Society and the Native Healing Centre.
“This is our ninth year and our plan was to start off with introducing some of our therapy dogs to the community,” said Krista Levar, RCMP Victim Services coordinator. “So, we’re here to reach out to some of the kids in town so that if they ever have to encounter police or go to court they have an opportunity to meet the dogs and know who they might be able to do that with.”
She says they chose Heritage Elementary because the school is the first in the Prince George school district to have a therapy dog of its own – Oliver.
Principal Linda Picton noted Oliver has made a big difference at the school since he was introduced to students this year.
“There’s a lot of kids that need him. There’s also lots of kids that just like dogs but I’ve also got kids who won’t talk to an adult but they’ll come and talk to Oliver and they’ll lie on the floor and they’ll cuddle with him. If someone’s crying, he’s very receptive to that.”
Levar said she’s been working with therapy dogs for five years and noted RCMP therapy dog Max was the first therapy dog to go to court with a child victim in B.C.
She said funding for Victims and Survivors of Crime Week comes courtesy B.C.’s Ministry of Justice.