Carlisle/West Shore

Therapy dog to join East Pennsboro classrooms

ENOLA, Pa. (WHTM) - A furry friend will be the newest classmate to walk the halls and attend classes in the East Pennsboro School District.

Murphy, a 12-week-old Australian Labradoodle has spent the past few months training to become a therapy dog for all four schools in the district.

Murphy has spent most of her life training at Ultimate Canine, an Indiana company that specializes in emotional support dogs. With funding from Kicking in for Kids, administrators decided to add Murphy to the attendance sheet after they were inspired by a therapy dog that visited the schools once every two weeks.

"The effects and student relationships that we built with the dog were so powerful that we thought there was such a need to bring it in each day," middle school principal Justin Newcam said.

Murphy is small, but her presence will have a big impact on students.

"They come into the building and they're just not feeling well that day. Right away, Murphy is actually trained to sense that, walk up to the students, and immediately start working with that student," Newcam said.

Once Murphy arrives Oct. 7, four staff members will be trained to be her certified handlers.

The district ultimately hopes to have a therapy dog in every school.

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