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'Loving, Learning, Achieving, Believing'

Meet Milo - Our School Dog

Milo as a puppy

We are incredibly proud of all of our members of staff here at St Augustine’s, but one particular 4-legged member is coming on leaps and bounds. His name is Milo and he is our wonderful school dog. He is currently still undergoing intensive training as he is only 6 months old so presently, he is only in school on a part-time basis. We are hoping that he will become our full-time school therapy dog by the Spring of 2021.

The rationale behind our decision to have a school therapy pet was as follows:  

To have a pet that the children could interact with and also be of benefit to the children’s social and emotional development.

. For the school to have a pet that is able to live as naturally as conditions allow.  

For the animal to be properly cared for outside of the school day.  

The value of pet ‘therapy’ is widely accepted as a powerful aid to stimulation and communication. Studies have shown that the presence of companion animals can improve the well-being of children and lower the rate of anxiety, simply by making the environment happier, more enjoyable and less foreboding. With the current climate and the way children and adults have had to adjust to the world changing recently we decided that this academic year was the appropriate time to implement this. We realise that some children may have had to deal with massive emotional traumas of late and believe that they will really benefit from having a school dog that they can find comfort in and have ‘time out’ with.

It is accepted that interacting with animals is not appropriate for all children but for most it has the potential to provide many positive benefits. There are no diseases associated with the puppy and a vet is responsible for all vaccinations and for completing regular health checks and any necessary treatment. Milo is also fully insured. 

During his early ‘puppyhood’ he has already undertaken socialisation and obedience training and has been introduced to all the children and staff and he is now becoming familiar with his ‘working surroundings’.

Milo is a Cockerpoo and we chose this breed for 2 main reasons – first and foremost, Cockerpoos are well known to be very sociable animals, yet very placid and laid back and they love human interaction especially with children. Secondly cockerpoos do not ‘shed’…so this latter point will hopefully allay most fears regarding allergies.  We understand that some children and maybe even adults may still have other allergies and/or concerns around dogs and if they do not wish to interact with the school puppy for any reason then this is absolutely their choice.

2nd phot of Milo

Milo is never and will never be left alone with a child/children and is always under the supervision of an adult.  He has his own designated area with a ‘pen’ and his bed in it and this is away from the children.  He is not allowed anywhere else in the school unsupervised.  He is never allowed in any areas where there is food preparation going on supervised or otherwise.

Many pupils have experienced the benefits of having Milo at school and there is evidence that Milo is already having a massively positive effect on general well-being.

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