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School Employs Therapy Puppy To Help Reduce Stress, Anxiety

LEAVITTSBURG, Ohio (CBS Local) -- A new therapy puppy at an Ohio school district is more than just a cute face. He's already making a big impact.

At just 12 weeks old, Odin may be small, but he's making himself at home in the LaBrae Local School District in Leavittsburg.

"We thought it could help with our social-emotional learning and our anxieties," said Chad Kiser, Odin's handler. "It helps kids open up a little bit. They're a little bit more comfortable around the animals, able to talk about their feelings a little bit more."

On just his second day at Labrae, Odin helped comfort a student during a counseling session, CBS affiliate WKBN reported.

With only a week on the job, Odin is still getting used to his new schedule and surroundings but loves to greet anyone he meets, bringing lots of smiles to the hallways.

"When you see the puppy and it's coming down the hallway and it has its leash in its mouth and it's walking itself down the hall, it just puts you in a different mood and I think that's always a great thing to have in the school," said Labrae High School Principal Jeff Starkey.

The Sheepadoodle comes from Training Canines out of Statesville, North Carolina. Kiser hopes the district might someday expand the program and bring in more dogs.

"He has a lot of opportunity to help a lot of young students and I would say teachers, too," Kiser said.

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