District » Viking Puppy Project

Viking Puppy Project

Valparaiso Community Schools is adding 11 new therapy dogs to serve students and staff around the district. These new additions will join our current therapy dog, June, during the 2019-2020 school year. Nine of the new Vikings are from a recently born litter of Golden Retrievers. Learn more about this project in the sections below!
We would like to invite you to join us as we watch these Vikings grow and become part of the VCS team! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates on this project's progress.
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It all started with Annabelle, a nervous little Yorkie, and a trip to Vale Park Animal Hospital.

During the visit, Dr. Bill Donohue and school superintendent, Dr. Julie Lauck, began talking about the importance of having therapy dogs in schools.  Dr. Donohue mentioned that he sponsored June, a therapy dog serving students and staff at Flint Lake Elementary. 

Dr. Lauck made the comment, “I’d have dogs in all of our schools if I could.”  Dr. Donohue proceeded to tell her about a client of his with a golden retriever that was about to give birth to a litter of 10.  With a smile on her face, Superintendent Lauck looked at Dr. Donohue and said, “I’ll get most, if not all, of them placed in our schools.”

So it began…

On Wednesday of the following week, we learned that two of the pups had already been promised elsewhere, but eight were still going to need homes.  Through conversation and a quick email to the leadership team, Dr. Lauck quickly secured eight handlers for these pups plus three potential handlers that were put on a wait list. 

By early the next day, Dr. Lauck secured over $12,000 in sponsorships for the purchase of the pups, and initial supplies and training needs.  The instant and palpable buzz around this project was amazing!  The handlers and the sponsors began to offer their selection of dog names, ideas about additional sponsorships, projects, and community connections that could be beneficial with this program. 

We know that therapy dogs are in schools throughout the country, and we know the positive impact they can have for both students and staff.  What is unusual about this particular program is that the district will have dogs in all of the schools this coming year.  To make it even more unique, nine of the dogs in the schools are all from the same litter. 

Join us as we watch the newest Vikings grow and become part of the VCS team!

Contributions will benefit the Viking therapy dogs that will serve our school community. Donations can be made in person at the VCS Administration Building or by mail. 
Valparaiso Community Schools Administration Building
Attention: Puppy Fund
3801 N. Campbell Street
Valparaiso, IN 46385
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School Guard, Skillman Construction, Thorgren Industries, Valparaiso Family Dentistry, Gibraltar Design, Sarkisian Law, Vale Park Animal Hospital, VideoTec, The Lauck Family, Urschel Laboratories, John & Carole Clark, Mark & Sue Hoffman, Deb Fray, Kevin Cornett
Special thanks to Christ Lutheran Church Vacation Bible School
Northwest Indiana school district puts dogs into every school this year   
  Puppies in Valparaiso schools provide 'heeling' presence                              Chicago Tribune Article Cover Puppy therapy at Valparaiso schools take bite out student, staff stress                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Mom to Mom NWI Magazine Cover. By moms, for moms                                   Guard 911 logo
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