Therapy dogs set to bring some calm to the classroom for Oundle students

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The dogs will provide comfort and support to pupils who suffer from anxiety, depression and other mental health issues

Prince William School in Oundle will soon be welcoming two therapy dogs in a bid to enhance student well-being.

Cocker spaniel Murphy and black Labrador Mia will join the school once they are fully trained to provide comfort and support to students who suffer from anxiety, depression and

other mental health issues.

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Murphy and MiaMurphy and Mia
Murphy and Mia

Murphy and Mia will each live with a member of school staff, and the puppies and their owners will train together before being assessed by the charity Pets As Therapy when the

dogs are nine-months-old.

Headteacher Elizabeth Dormor said: “During the various lockdowns, we have seen how important family pets have become.

"But even before that, the school was looking into the mental health benefits of having a dog.

“Murphy and Mia will be trained to be a calming influence in what can be at times a very stressful environment for some of our students.

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“We’re all incredibly excited to welcome Murphy and Mia in to school and I’m looking forward to seeing the benefits they’ll bring to everyone’s well-being.”

Mia will be in the sixth form supporting students, while Murphy will work with Years 7 to 11.

The dogs will begin by spending two to three days a week in school to start getting used to the school bells and seeing students.

They will have their own office where they can go for naps and quiet time to rest.

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Once they are fully trained, it is hoped that Murphy and Mia will also visit hospitals and care homes as part of their therapy role.

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