INDIANAPOLIS — Roncalli High School welcomed its first house dog in August as the “new Vice President of Happiness,” according to a press release sent out by the school.
Kass, a two-year-old black Labrador, came from the Indiana Canine Assistance Network to “work” full-time in high school.
Kass received extensive training, including a temperament test, formal obedience and service work, and several public access tests in order to obtain establishment dog certification.
During the school day, Kass spends her time in guidance with her teacher, Lisa Beckwith. Beckwith largely manages his leash and location.
“Already in his short time at Roncalli, Kass has had such an impact on our day-to-day operations. The students love seeing Kass in the hallways, lunchroom and classrooms,” Beckwith said. seeing students’ faces turn into bright smiles as soon as they see him every 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’ dog handlers on occasion.
Kass attends classes with the Life Academy students, listening to them as they read to him or working with them on practicing life skills.
In his spare time, Kass lives with the Beckwiths alongside his dog brother. He likes long walks, playing tug, sniffing and finding leftover snacks on the kitchen floor.