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Kiski Space Faculty District welcomes deaf remedy canine

Jan. 25—The newest addition to the Kiski Space Faculty District workers is of the four-legged selection.

Roo, a 5-month-old mixed-breed deaf rescue canine, is the district’s first full-time remedy canine.

Kiski Space Superintendent Misty Slavic mentioned she seen a necessity for a remedy canine ​​whereas listening to suggestions from college students and workers after the district invited licensed remedy canine to go to throughout Kids’s Grief Consciousness Day on Nov. 18, 2021.

“It rapidly grew to become clear that remedy canine present instantaneous stress aid. College students and workers had been smiling, relaxed and, as one particular person described to me, (felt) ‘an amazing sense of aid.’ So I made a decision to look to undertake from a neighborhood canine shelter,” Slavic mentioned.

Slavic is Roo’s handler and adopted Roo in late December from Tiny Trigger, a nonprofit rescue in Vandergrift.

“The district doesn’t pay for any of Roo’s care,” Slavic mentioned.

The Roo moniker was gleaned from the phrase “kangeroo.” Slavic famous the canine’s small black spots on white fur may imply she is a component Dalmatian, however her precise breed is n’t identified.

Slavic is coaching with Roo with the assistance of Fortunate Paws Pet Resort in Cranberry, and Roo has already mastered remedy canine ​​indicators comparable to sit, keep, come, lie down, check-in and greeting along with her paw, Slavic mentioned.

For now, Roo arrives with Slavic to high school and trains a number of days per week on the district’s central workplace.

She even has her personal Instagram account: @roo_the_


Roo will study to answer new individuals, issues, smells and navigate the college district that features six campuses.

Final week, Roo mingled with a couple of highschool college students.

“As she progresses, Roo will start to make visits to the opposite buildings and after-school actions. I am slowly introducing her to all of those experiences in order that it turns into pure to her,” Slavic mentioned.

Kiski Space science trainer Candice Roberts met Roo and admired the pet’s adaptability. Roberts mentioned Roo was unfazed by the quite a few arms of her reaching out of her to pet her.

“She was taking all of it in like she had been doing this for years,” Roberts mentioned. “Her cute face de ella is tough to withstand, and I am positive she’ll do an excellent job in her new position de ella as remedy canine.”

Kiski Space Higher Elementary Principal Brian Swartzlander mentioned he appears ahead to welcoming Roo on campus.

“Our district’s dedication to serving to college students transcend teachers, and the addition of a remedy canine ​​will definitely help with the social and emotional well-being of our college students,” Swartzlander mentioned.

Upon completion of her coaching, Roo’s duties on campus will embody giving college students the boldness to learn out loud (college students can learn to Roo), de-escalating college students who is perhaps anxious or upset by having Roo out there for constructive interactions, being out there for doggie walks, working with college students on life abilities and studying methods to handle one thing in addition to themselves.

All of Roo’s vaccinations, insurance coverage, licenses and proof of ID can be found for overview on the district’s central workplace, Slavic mentioned.

If a pupil has canine allergy symptoms, Roo will likely be moved to an space away from the scholar.

A examine by the Alliance of Remedy Canines discovered the constructive advantages of remedy canine can embody a constructive temper, anti-stress results on college students, a rise in studying fluency by 12% to 30%, growing social abilities, a rise in attendance, educating empathy and correct interpersonal abilities and growing stronger relationships with friends and academics.

A veterinary examination confirmed Roo’s deafness, however the pet has compensated simply advantageous, mentioned Darla Held, proprietor of Tiny Trigger.

She added that Roo’s incapacity may function an necessary life lesson for college kids and workers.

“As a result of Roo is deaf, that will likely be an enormous profit, particularly if a baby has a incapacity or feels completely different. It is about inclusion and becoming in,” Held mentioned.

Held mentioned she discovered it troublesome to include her pleasure over Roo’s future, as she needed to preserve mum about Roo’s remedy canine ​​gig for a few month.

“I am nonetheless in shock about it as a result of I by no means imagined I’d be concerned in serving to Kiski get a remedy canine,” mentioned Held, a Kiski Space Excessive Faculty alum.

Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Evaluate workers author. You’ll be able to contact Joyce by e mail at or by way of Twitter.

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