Animal Therapy Evidence that suggests that therapy dogs can enhance student's well-being in a variety of settings seemed worth more investigation.
In 2018 a process began to gain Board of Trustee support for a dog in school, based in the Awatapu College Special Needs Department.
Bodhi is the second dog to assume a therapy dog role at Awatapu College. The benefits of animal therapy have been clear.
Riding for the Disabled, and Equine Therapy are also programmes that have been offered. It is clear that animal therapy helps students understand personal space and boundaries, reduces anxiety, stress,
PTSD, improves focus and motivation, increases empathy, compassion and nurturing, enhances bonding and trust, and reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Bodhi assists students with assessments, important appointments and meetings, he helps to de-escalate behaviour, and he can be a reward for increased focus.
Often the act of looking after an animal's needs reduces anxiety and challenging behaviour of students.