I support the Feb. 11 letter by Steve Throssel, “Dogs, not guns, are teacher’s best friend”.
I have begun working on this very idea that we need to put dogs in schools as a deterrent to violence rather than armed guards. I believe we can have a winning program if we take dogs out of shelters, put them in prisons to be trained, and fill our schools with dogs — at least one per school.
This is a win-win because the dogs add a calming effect to the school environment rather than a stressful one for young children. The other win is that if we take shelter dogs, any breed, we can save a life. Give the dogs to prisoners to train and we give prisoners a profession for when they get out they don’t have to resort to crime, thus saving another life. It also gives the person in jail an opportunity to give and receive unconditional love — a very healing experience.
I have two therapy dogs that I take to schools, hospice and the libraries. I see on a regular basis the calming affect these dogs have on children and adults. This program would require some strict regulations and I would recommend following the Pet Partners guidelines as far as training, but I believe it can be done.