Updated: (November 9, 2020)
Ms. Sarno – handler/owner of Oliver the Middle School Therapy Dog – created a short video explaining the new safety procedures in place this year for student/staff time with ICC Therapy Dogs. It’s a good, quick summary of the information below.
Original Posting: (October 28, 2020)
We’re so excited to announce that we will welcome back our popular Therapy Dog Program during the first week of November 2020! Georgia, Oliver and Willow were all very excited to hear they’ll soon be back in Ichabod Crane schools with their human friends! In more “normal” times, our therapy dogs have offered great emotional support and peace of mind to our students (and staff), so during these more anxious times, we think they will be more appreciated than ever.
According to the CDC and the Ichabod Crane school physician, the risk of COVID-19 spread from animals to people is very low and there’s no evidence it can spread to people from the skin, fur or hair of animals. However, we’ll be taking some extra precautions to ensure Ichabod students have safe but emotionally positive interactions with our favorite furry friends.
- Dog handlers will keep daily logs of who has contact with the dogs and at what time.
- Groups will not interact with the dogs and handlers will avoid bringing dogs near them. Students & staff will only interact with the dogs one at a time until COVID-19 precautions can be lifted (i.e., wearing face masks, smaller class sizes, socially distanced situations, etc.).
- Handlers will ensure the dogs receive regular bathing, brushing, cleaning of ears and trimming of nails. Their fur will get no longer than 2” in length.
- Anyone who wants to pet the dogs will first need to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer. They will also need to do this directly after petting them. Handlers will have hand sanitizer on them at all times.
- Anyone visiting the dogs will be required to follow the “Ask to Pet” signs in the rooms.
- Our students enjoy grooming our dogs, so any brushes/combs will be sanitized before and after they are used.
- Students/staff won’t handle any toys or treats that go in the dogs’ mouths. There will be a few easy to sanitize rubber-based toys to use with the dogs.
- No licks or kisses from the dogs this year.