The DOE works closely with each school in the program to adopt a rescue animal that has been evaluated by North Shore Animal League America. Schools can also receive training in the Mutt-i-Gree curriculum, including lesson plans and strategies to engage students and incorporate the dog into the school’s social-emotional supports. Comfort dogs contribute to various aspects of school culture and climate, and are incorporated in a variety of ways including for both at-risk and mandated counseling. The dogs also become an integral part of a school’s crisis intervention protocols and support de-escalation and bereavement counseling. A staff member at each school adopts the dog and the curriculum is provided to schools for free.
Special Thanks to Michele Ferrante for adopting Sugar and Dr. Nora DeRosa Principal of Elias Bernstein for supporting comfort dogs in schools.