Therapy Dog Program

Healing Paws TeamCrete-Monee School District Therapy Dog Program

Service Dogs

The District is pleased to announce the Healing Paws Project, our district-wide dog program was created to provide therapeutic services to students, staff, and community members.

One of our dogs, Biscuit, was donated by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office and the Paws and Stripes College in Brevard County, Florida.

The District recognizes that now, more than ever, there is a need for awareness about mental and emotional health. More workplaces are allowing for therapy animals and office pets because they improve morale as well as a host of other benefits such as:

  • Reduce anxiety levels and assist students to decompress after traumatic circumstances.
  • Decrease the emotional trauma of a critical incident/event for students, teachers, and staff.
  • Increase student empathy/compassion
  • Decrease retaliatory violence.
  • Improve self-esteem and help students stay connected to social networks.
  • Provide opportunities to develop positive relationships.
Program Objectives:
  • The therapy dogs shall serve as a therapeutic resource to staff, students, and the community of CM 201-U.
  • The therapy dog will assist in developing and enhancing relationships.
  • The program will serve to support social and emotional learning.
  • The therapy dog committee will ensure that the services of the therapy dog program remains professional, ethical, and beneficial, and continues to align with the vision and mission of CM 201-U.

Blue & Gold Paw Print CM 201-U PAWFILES Blue & Gold Paw Print

Snickers, CM 201-U Therapy Dog

Blue & Gold Paw Print Snickers Blue & Gold Paw Print

Name: Snickers
Handler: Michele Gallardo, Social Worker at Crete-Monee Middle School
Title: Facility Therapy Dog/District Therapy Dog
Breed: Mixed
Birthdate: September 9, 2022
Color: Brown
Favorite Food: Dog treats & cheese
Activities: Playing with his friends, meeting new people, & playing with his toys. He also loves being outside and basking in the sun!
Training: Snickers was donated to the Brevard County Sheriff and trained for six months by the Paws and Stripes College in Florida.
Certification:Snickers is a graduate of Paws and Stripes College in Brevard County Florida. He is a trained and certified therapy dog and has completed all of the requirements to earn Multidiscipline Therapy K9 Team Certification. Snickers also passed his Law Enforcement Investigative Therapy Dog Course. He is able to attend court proceedings, and victim sensitive interviews.

Biscuit Bear Hall, CM 201-U Therapy Dog

Blue & Gold Paw Print Biscuit Blue & Gold Paw Print

Name: Biscuit Bear
Handler: David D. Hall, Division Leader and Healing Paws Coordinator
Title: Facility Therapy Dog/ District Therapy Dog
Breed: 100 % Pure Breed Boston Terrier
Birthdate: October 14, 2018
Color: Black and White
Favorite Food: "Buddy Trainer" Bacon Flavor Bites
Activities: Playing with children, playing with his brother Blue (blue tick Beagle), laying in the sun, and snuggling.
Training: Biscuit is a graduate of Paws and Stripes College in Brevard County, Florida and is trained in the following courses: Multi-Discipline Therapy K-9 Team, AKC Urban Good Citizen Title, Law Enforcement Investigative Therapy Dog Course. He is able to attend court proceedings and victim-sensitive interviews.
Experience: Biscuit has been deployed as a therapy dog in the school district and community since December 2020. Most of his time is spent at Crete-Monee High School.

Bella, CM 201-U Therapy Dog

Blue & Gold Paw Print Bella Blue & Gold Paw Print

Name: Bella
Handler: Judi Pappas, Assistant Principal of Talala Elementary
Title: Facility Therapy Dog/District Therapy Dog
Breed: Goldendoodle
Birthdate: March 24, 2022
Color: Parti (Brown and White)
Favorite food: Freeze-Dried Treats (Chicken, Salmon, Beef, Lamb, and Duck)
Activities: Bella goes everywhere with her handler. She loves learning new skills and meeting new friends. Her favorite activity is to play "fetch". Bella loves to go for walks, but she absolutely adores being surrounded by children. and flopping on her back for belly rubs.
Training: Bella began her training at 8 weeks old. In the Summer of 2022, Bella earned her "Puppy Obedience Certification". During the Summer of 2023, Bella completed her "Canine Good Citizen Certification", as well as her "Service Dog Certification". We are hoping to continue her education during the Summer of 2024 with the goal of Bella completing her "Therapy Dog Certification".
Experience: Bella embarked on her career at the age of 8 weeks old at Monee Education Center (MEC). She has been the Facility Therapy Dog at Talala Elementary since the 2022-2023 school year. The end-of-the-year survey indicated that 98% of the students and staff felt that Bella made a positive impact on the school climate. Bella accompanies her handler everywhere, in every situation and environment. She has visited schools in other districts, grocery stores, indoor and outdoor sporting events, doctor's offices, car dealerships, and has also brought comfort and smiles to students and staff in crisis situations at CM 201-U. Bella interacts with students and staff at Talala Elementary on a daily basis throughout the school day, and she loves everyone she comes in contact with!

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