Mary Cummins Animal Advocates Los Angeles California Wildlife Rehabilitation Real Estate

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Therapy dog Star detects lead in water at San Diego Unified School District, California - Mary Cummins

therapy dog, star, Lindsay Curtius, san diego unified school district, san diego cooperative charter school 2 mountain view campus lead water test california, Mary Cummins
LA Times released a story about a school therapy dog who detected lead in San Diego school drinking water. The therapy dog "Star" pictured above with his handler Lindsay Curtius refused to drink water from the school's water supply on January 26, 2017. That's when his handler noticed a sheen on the water. Lindsay Curtius of San Diego Cooperative Charter School 2 Mountain View Campus reported the incident and the water was tested. The water test showed that the water contained more than maximum allowable amounts. All children at the school are drinking bottled water until the testing is finished in June 2017.

Star is a Labrador. Generally Labradors will drink and eat almost anything. They're one of the most common dogs to be accidentally poisoned for this reason. That would lead one to believe this was a smell issue. We have drug and disease sniffing dogs. Time for lead sniffing dogs.

Star was trained at NEADS, National Education for Assistance Dog Services, dogs for deaf and disabled Americans as a therapy dog. This is her profile.

"Hello, my name is Star! I am the Service Dog for the Classroom at SDCCS2.  I am originally from New York state. I was trained by NEADS,National Education for Assistance Dog Services, in Massachusetts for 20 months before I met my handler Lindsay Curtius. We trained together in Massachusetts before traveling on an airplane back to my new home of sunny San Diego!

I was matched specifically with SDCCS to assist students off all ages both in and outside the classroom environment. Dogs at schools assist in the social development of children by teaching responsibility, compassion, self esteem, and empathy. It has also been found that they decrease unexpected behaviors and promote positive behavior in students.

In my position at SDCCS, I work hard to perform all my tricks that I was taught to help children with all different kinds of needs. I enjoy being read to, talked to, and I love playing ball!

When I'm not working at SDCCS I enjoy camping, hiking, and running on the beach!
If you see me around campus, please say hello!"

About the handler Lindsay Curtius.

"My name is Lindsay Curtius. I am an Education Specialist at San Diego Cooperative Charter School 2. In July 2016, I had the opportunity to fly from California to the NEADS campus in Massachusetts to meet and train with Star, SDCCS’ Classroom Therapy Dog.

SDCCS is a progressive, developmentally-based, child-centered program. We focus on developing empathy and social emotional skills through healthy attachment, pro-social communication, and relationships. We are designated as an Ashoka Changemaker school through the Start Empathy Initiative and we are dedicated to the development of each individual child as a whole person.

Since this summer, Star has become a welcomed addition to our school family and has adjusted well to the California lifestyle! Star spends her days helping students with developmental, sensory, and behavioral needs, who are fully included across ten multi-age classrooms. She assists in the social development of children by teaching responsibility, compassion, self esteem, and empathy. It has also been found that dogs in classrooms decrease unexpected behaviors and promote positive behavior in students.  Star’s favorite day of the week is Friday where the entire school comes together in the auditorium to sing!

I look forward to continuing to work with the NEADS family as Star grows and becomes a member of our school family."

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.

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