Meet Boots and Rush. These four-legged friends are the latest additions to the teaching staff at Woodvale Secondary College in Western Australia.
The greyhounds were brought into the school as companion dogs, where they are helping boost the self-esteem of students, participation rates and also manage anxiety. Learning resource centre teacher in charge Julie Robinson says that bringing the dogs into the school has exceeded expectations, “A lot of the kids come and pat the dogs when they’re feeling anxious,” she told Perthnow. “It’s reminded everybody that you need to be happy at school.”
The staff at Woodvale say that there is a lot of evidence to support the benefits of having companion animals, particularly for students who have autism or other disabilities.
Boots’ owner, Liz Povah is a teacher at Woodvale, who adopted him from a greyhound rescue agency. Rush is also from Greyhound Adoptions in Western Australia. Greyhound Adoptions WA chairwoman Toni Donnelly says that other schools are now expressing their interest in having a similar program after seeing the success at Woodvale. Donnelly says that greyhounds were a perfect breed to be a companion dog, given their calm and friendly nature around children.
Watch Boots and Rush hard at work in the video below: