A new pup on the premises, therapy dog was trained in Florida

Published 4:11 pm Monday, April 17, 2023




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Danville High School has a new therapy dog to help serve students in need. The 1-year-old black Labrador retriever named Scooter, works alongside school resource officer Ben Ray to help provided relief for students who are having a bad day or are experiencing a crisis.

“The kids love him,” Ray said. “Multiple times a day kids are at my door asking for Scooter. First thing in the morning they are asking to see Scooter. He is a little shy but he is starting to open up more.”

The effort to provide the school with a therapy dog was started when students at the school created a presentation to the Danville Police Department. Although Scooter is the first K9 unit that Officer Ray has worked with, they trained together in a Paws and Strips college with the sheriff’s office of Brevard County, Florida.

“He was donated by a breeder,” Ray said. “They have had him since he was 6 months old. The training is 12 weeks and it is a lot of obedience, drilling into them sit, stay, down and the recall if he is in a crowd off his leash. A lot of it is just being in him in different locations and situations.”

Scooter is already becoming part of the school community.

“It is a learning curve for everybody having a dog here,” Ray said. “Teachers have been really receptive but we are starting to get him into classrooms. With all the end of the year stress we are going to different classrooms just giving students a little rest.”