Parkland, Florida High School Students Will Have a Therapy Dog

The students of Parkland, Florida have been through quite a bit of tragedy in the past year. There have been all kinds of community efforts to rebuild, but one recent measure is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face: therapy dogs. We spoke to Ivy Schamis, a teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who’s been bringing her dog, Luigi, in to work through the post-trauma environment in our recent PetInsider podcast, and now, there’s another furry friend joining.


A Bernedoodle named River will be the school’s official therapy dog, according to The Dogington Post.



What’s even better is that River isn’t just any therapy dog, rather, he’s owned by the heroic MSD librarian Diana Haneski who bravely helped shelter 50 students from harms way during the attack. The soon-to-be-newest full-time staffer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will attend school daily with Haneski, too, though he’ll work for the student body at large.


“River’s gonna help in the future with a lot of struggles and trouble, and I’m trying to get myself ready to go back, so this is definitely going to help me,” she told Miami’s NBC6 of adopting River.


And the 3-month-old female puppy—who is so, so cute, BTW—will be getting all kinds of benefits for her services including free therapy dog training and pet insurance plus all kinds of pets and loves from the students, staff, and faculty at MSD.


Want to help River, Haneski, and MSD out? Head over to their GoFundMe page to see how you can aid in Parkland’s puppy healing.


Photo: Savs on Unsplash

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Rachel Zoldan

Rachel Jacoby Zoldan is a freelance writer and editor living in New York City with her husband two cats, Gerry and Cookie. (Who are, yes, named after a film about dogs.)

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