INDIANAPOLIS — Roncalli High School welcomed its first facility dog in August as the "newest vice president of happiness", according to a press release sent out by the school.
Kass, a two-year-old black lab, came from the Indiana Canine Assistance Network to "work" full-time at the high school.
Kass received extensive training, including a temperament test, formal obedience and service work, and multiple public access tests in order to earn the certification of facility dog.
During the school day, Kass spends his time in the guidance department with his handler, Lisa Beckwith. Beckwith manages his leash and location for the most part.
“Already in his short time at Roncalli, Kass has made such an impact on our day-to-day operations. Students love seeing Kass in the halls, lunch room, and classrooms," Beckwith said. "It's been remarkable to see students' faces turn to bright smiles as soon as they see him each day. Kass has been a true testament to how animals, especially dogs, can positively improve our mental health.”
The other counselors, school social workers, and STARS teachers will also be Kass's handlers on occasions.
Kass attends class with the Life Academy students, listening as they read to him or working with them on practicing life skills.
During his free time, Kass lives with the Beckwiths alongside his dog brother. He enjoys long walks, playing tug, sniffing and fnding leftover snacks on the kitchen foor