Student hugging a support dogWe want the relationship between children and our dogs to be positive, stimulating, educational and most importantly, enjoyable. Therefore, just like with our volunteers and their canine companions, we ask children and their families to participate in a low-key and welcoming screening process. They are interviewed and assessed before they are accepted into Nellie’s Schoolhouse. Our director meets and speaks with each child and her family before visits begin, as it is critical for our volunteer/dog teams and children/family teams to have an effective and comfortable match.

Not every child is a fit for this type of relationship or this kind of program so extra precautions are taken to be certain that all parties feel secure and confident about the expectations of both our humans and our canines. In addition, it is essential that our parents and guardians are supportive of and actively involved in each session with their child, volunteer and dog. We expect full family involvement.

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