School Dog Program
Meet our newest, four-legged Mustangs!
Come January 2020, some of our newest Mustangs will have four legs, not two! We’d like to introduce you to Ruby, Nemo, Aurora, Cooper, Coco, Lily, Sydney, and Everest. Meiko & Sirius are coming too in just a few short months!
Mesa Public Schools (MPS) is in its second year participating in the Pawsitive Peers Foundation School Dog Program developed by North Shore Animal League America using the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum. The district has partnered with the Arizona Humane Society, the Arizona Animal Welfare League, and Maricopa County Animal Care and Control to identify compatible shelter dogs for school staff to adopt and have trained. Participating MPS staff and their dogs must pass obedience and therapy training and are tested and approved by the Pet Partners® Therapy Animal Program.
The Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum, written by Yale University, will be used to incorporate lessons on social and emotional learning, resilience, empathy, and the human-animal bond. Students may also interact directly with dogs for more individualized learning opportunities. Additionally, these dogs can serve as a trusted companion in the counseling, nursing, or the administrative offices for crisis intervention, behavioral de-escalation, or simply to address stress, anxiety, and/or isolation.