LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Pleasure Ridge Park High School is giving students a break and relieving s
ome of the stress of class. It's thanks to a new faculty member who's spent time behind bars.
The new year at Pleasure Ridge Park High School brings many fresh faces. "She's one of our newest members of the Pleasure Ridge Park High School family, and she has just been incredible," says Kim Salyer, principal of PRP High School.
More than 1,000 are in this family. "A lot of the people in this school, this office, especially Shelby make me incredibly glad to be a PRP student," says Sam Smith, a junior at PRP.
There's someone who makes students smile a little wider. "When she walks into the school every single day, she's so happy. Her tail is wagging," Principal Salyer said.
Shelby is the school's full-time therapy dog, and she might be the most popular in school.
"I didn't think the student response would be anything how it is," says Jayna Fox, a PRP teacher and Shelby's owner.
Shelby even has her own Instagram page. "Like 300 or 400 [followers], but it still is like, that's pretty good for a dog," Fox said.
Fox adopted her from the humane society in Oldham County. Through the Camp Canine Program, inmates at the Kentucky State Reformatory trained Shelby as a pup. "He [an inmate] kind of planted that idea about her being a worker in my head," Fox said.
Fox approached her school principal before getting her certified. "We have more and more kids that come here that have been through things that you and I have no... we can't even imagine. I thought she was great with the kids. When the kids are upset at home, they go to Shelby, and she's very, very motherly and human like," Fox said.
She had Principal Salyer's full support. "Used to be in the past, if a student got upset, they'd want to go home. Well, now it seems like the student wants to go see Shelby," Salyer said. "Within 15 minutes or so, they're feeling great, and they're ready to go back to class. So, it keeps our students in school."
"My sophomore year was very, very hard. That was the first year Shelby was here, and to just be able to come down here, sit and talk with someone, have Shelby to just be there, it's almost as if you have an additional person on your side and just to always be there, and it's an amazing experience," Smith said.
Faculty call it a win-win situation, giving Shelby quite the social life and students a break from the daily stresses of school and life.
Principal Salyer said she's been contacted by several other principals considering getting a therapy dog at their schools.
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