LEAVITTSBURG, Ohio (WKBN) – At just 12 weeks old, Labrae Local Schools’ newest staff member already has a week of work under his paws.
Odin the puppy may be small now but he’s got a big job to do.
The Sheepadoodle comes from Training Canines, LLC out of Statesville, North Carolina.
“We thought it could help with our social-emotional learning and our anxieties. It helps kids open up a little bit. They’re a little bit more comfortable around the animals, able to talk about their feelings a little bit more,” said Chad Kiser, Odin’s handler.
On just his second day at Labrae, Odin helped comfort a student during a counseling session.
“He has a lot of opportunity to help a lot of young students and I would say teachers, too,” Kiser said.
He’s still getting used to his new schedule and surroundings but loves to greet anyone he meets, bringing lots of smiles to the hallways.
“When you see the puppy and it’s coming down the hallway and it has its leash in its mouth and it’s walking itself down the hall, it just puts you in a different mood and I think that’s always a great thing to have in the school,” said Labrae High School Principal Jeff Starkey.
In his short time at the schools, Odin has already made a positive impact.
Kiser hopes Odin can be the start of a bigger program in the district.
“We’d like to see how he works out, get his training and see what progress we can make with him and with our students and hopefully, one day, be able to have one in each wing if we’re able to,” Kiser said.