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Prince William School in Oundle welcomes therapy dogs

A school is set to welcome two therapy dogs in a bid to enhance pupils' wellbeing.

Cocker spaniel Murphy and black Labrador Mia will join Prince William School in Oundle once they are fully trained to provide comfort and support for children experiencing anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.

Murphy and Mia will live with a member of school staff, and the puppies and owners will train together before being assessed by the charity Pets As Therapy when the dogs are nine months old.

Murphy and Mia, therapy dogs at Prince William School
Murphy and Mia, therapy dogs at Prince William School

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 pupils.

“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 wellbeing.”

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

The dogs will begin by working two to three days a week to start getting used to the school bells and seeing pupils. They will have their own office where they can go for naps and quiet time to rest.

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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