GALLIPOLIS — Gallia Academy Middle School students had special visitors on Wednesday for puppy day.
Jana Reed of Jackson and Cheryl Popper of Rio Grande brought in their dogs to the school to teach students about therapy dogs.
Reed and Popper met with their dogs Ginger and Tate (respectively) taking their dogs to obedience training, which is a necessary step towards becoming a certified therapy dog. Reed told the kids that her husband was injured while serving in Afghanistan and their family learned about therapy dogs while in the hospital.
“We spent about two years in hospitals and people would bring therapy dogs in and it made a big difference for us, so we wanted to somehow share the love a dog has with others,” said Reed.
Certified dogs are used in numerous locations to help people deal with physical and emotional stress. Popper recently took Tate to Arbors of Gallipolis where he interacted with residents.
As a part of puppy day, students collected funds and supplies to donate to the Gallia County Canine Shelter including food, treats, and over $230.
“We decided to do something a little different. The kids have really loved it and some of the staff have brought in their dogs too,” said Principal Lisa Jo Blakeman.
The day was planned and organized in part by Dreama Hamid and the GAMS Parent Teacher Organization.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.