Bissonet Plaza Elementary hosted a dog agility show on International Puppy Day, with help from the Swamp Dog Agility Club of Greater New Orleans. Dogs of all age and sizes jumped, climbed, and sprinted as the students watched as part of a positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) reward.
Bissonet Plaza physical education teacher Susan Kelly expressed how impactful pet therapy can be with the students.
“Almost all of the dogs are trained on word commands. So if a student does not open his or her mouth and tell the dog what to do, the dog will not do it,” said Kelly. “We have children that would never answer out loud or express their feelings, but after just a year’s time working with the dogs, they have become some of the most outspoken children in the school.”
Kelly works with dogs outside of school and incorporates pet therapy during the holidays.
“The dogs come dressed in their best holiday costume,” said Kelly. “Dogs put smiles on everyone’s faces and just relax them.”