Therapy Dog Program

Meet Molly! 

On a cold morning in December of 2016, at the start of the school day, students and staff found a small shivering puppy hiding in the schools garden. Staff quickly brought her to the office for warmth and water and began searching for her owners. After putting up flyers and posting on social media with no response, VLCS staff realized they would need to find her a new home.

Lucky for her, VLCS has many dog lovers.

Mrs. Young from the counseling department decided to take her home

and give her the name, Molly.


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Molly being such as sweet dog, was the perfect candidate for training to become a licensed Therapy Dog. Mrs. Young researched local organizations that help facilitate the process and signed Molly up with Pet Partners, an Animal Therapy Program. This required Mrs. Young to take specific animal handling courses and for Molly to meet specific suitability, eligibility and health requirements. Once all those were met, Molly was able to start training for an evaluation that she would go through with her handler, Mrs. Young.  Molly and Mrs. Young as a team, passed a number of tests and received a Complex rating for her evaluation which is the highest rating a team can receive. Mrs. Young and Molly must renew this license every two years and go through the same evaluation process. 

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Molly spends a lot of her time sleeping under Mrs. Young's desk because therapy work is very exhausting, you see. But when she's not sleeping, she's bringing smiles to all those she interacts with. Molly attends Mindfulness Club and will curl up to students who are practicing mindfulness on their mats. When small counseling sessions are taking place, Molly will participate by lying down next to students in the group. If there are students having a particularly bad day…

Molly will come to the rescue and sit with them as they process what is going on.

Molly will even join recess and chase a ball or two. 

Molly has become a favorite at VLCS and you can guarantee most staff have dog treats in their desk for her. As students pass her in the halls, they all stop to pet her as they go along their way. Those small moments are so valuable to students and Molly. Molly just loves every student at VLCS and she could not have picked a better place to get lost that cold December day.