SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Scottsdale Unified School District is getting creative and enlisting the help of man’s best friend to support students in combatting stress. It’s all part of the crisis K-9 program in the district.
The second crisis K-9 in SUSD is at Coronado High School. He's a 10-month-old golden doodle.
In a very short time, the puppy named Captain has been trained by Dogtrainer U.S. in Peoria. Captain works alongside School Resource Officer Alan Pease.
Together they walk Coronado's halls and help students when they’re in crisis situations, feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or in need of some love. Captain can travel to other South Scottsdale schools as needed.
Captain wears a special vest and is trained through positive reinforcement. He knows how to give hugs, cover, and crawl, especially if someone is extra nervous and may be more comfortable with a dog crawling to them instead.
“These dogs are much more family-oriented, friendly, because their whole job is to give love, and just help people relieve stress. We’ve been able to go with different breeds than you’d normally think of as a police dog," Officer Pease said.
When Captain takes off the vest, Officer Pease said he’s all puppy. He lives with the officer, his wife, and their kids at the family's Valley home.
SUSD has another crisis K-9 named Rocket and he's a golden retriever.
The funding for the K-9 program is provided by the Scottsdale Unified School District Foundation. There are plans to expand the program within the district.
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