PAALS Joins Furry Friend Friday

Columbia, SC (WOLO) — A local Preschool teacher is changing her students classroom experience by implementing a new furry friend. The black lab, Ross is a specially trained facility dog. Susan Woodley from Lake Carolina Elementary school (Lower Campus) spent a week with Palmetto Animal Life Services, finding the perfect canine to enhance her students love for learning.

For two years, Ross was trained by PAALS specifically to help her students who are living with autism learn life skills like patience and responsibility. Woodley says bringing Ross in as an assistant has helped increase the motivation and communication of her students.

Jennifer Rogers, the Executive Director of PAALS says Ross isn’t the first dog they’ve trained to work in classrooms within Richland County School District Two. For the last 6 years, another specially trained dog by the name of Roberta has helped assist children with disabilities.

The initiative goes well beyond the classroom as well according to Rogers who says one dog can impact thousands of lives. Rogers says PAALS trains dogs that participate in Prison PAALS, Summer PAALS, Weekend PAALS, Reading PAALS and Pet-A-PAALS.


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