How to Approach YOUR Campus to Request a CARES dog
Having information in place and reaching out to the right person is key to getting approval to implement a Comfort and Counseling Assistance Program for a school or a district. Having answers to the most commonly asked questions and concerns is what we are here for. Our Michigan office has placed 14 dogs successfully based solely on word of mouth. The program works and we have the knowledge and skill set to ensure it is well received by staff, students and parents alike.
If you are an administrator, counselor, instructor or interested parent who would like to see about bringing a trained dog in for campus visits or getting a dog placed full time on a campus or in a district, you first need to research if your district has a dedicated mental health department and reach out with your request and ready answers to the commonly asked questions. Some larger districts have them within their police departments or as part of a dedicated administrative team. In a smaller district, approval can often come at the campus level through the principal with Superintendent endorsement and/or Board support. We are available to attend Houston and surrounding area board meetings to answer questions where the Comfort/Counseling Assistance Dog program is on the agenda.
Existing insurance plans often already cover animals on campus, and CARES has our own insurance for visits. Funding is often the next question. Some districts have been successful using mental health grants and federal funding, some have used fundraisers, community sponsors or parent sponsored/PTA funding. A CARES dog comes with parent letter templates which address allergy/dog fear concerns as well as practical real world solutions to work around those concerns successfully.
Once the proper channels are identified and onboard, then we can start the process of selecting and training the perfect Comfort and Counseling Assistance Dog for your campus or district!