Meet the Support Animals Serving Tri-State Students


Many local schools have seen the benefits of adding therapy dogs to their teams. Here, we introduce you to four of them.

Illustrations by Carlie Burton

Dog: Nati Joy

Age: 11/2

Breed: Australian Labradoodle

School: Seton High School

Quote: “The 2021–2022 school year is the first year we have had Nati here at Seton. She is at school two days each week. Nati likes attention and affection from our Seton students as well as treats like cheese and Cheerios.” —Erin Rowland, Seton High School Director of Student Support Services (and Nati’s handler)

Illustrations by Carlie Burton

Dog: Mochi

Age: 7

Breed: Golden Doodle

School: James E. Biggs Early Childhood Center

Quote: “Mochi has been at James E. Biggs for seven years. Mochi greets preschoolers getting off the bus and helps transition students from activity to activity. Mochi [wears] her backpack at the beginning of the school year, costumes for holidays, and a graduation gown at the end of the year.” —Elizabeth Miller, Covington Early Childhood Principal


Illustrations by Carlie Burton

Dog: Sisi

Age: 3

Breed: Australian Labradoodle

School: Roger Bacon High School

Quote: “Sisi has been nothing but a joy since she entered the halls at Roger Bacon in April 2019. High school can be very stressful for teenage students, and Sisi provide[s] them with some relief [from] the everyday stresses of high school. Sisi lives with me and I bring her to school every day.” —Brandon Spaeth, Roger Bacon High School, Assistant Athletic Director


Illustrations by Carlie Burton

Dog: Lucy

Age: 4

Breed: Labrador

School: Mason Intermediate

Quote: “Lucy joined us during the 2019–2020 school year. Lucy loves living with Amy Burns, a Mason Intermediate School sixth grade teacher. Lucy helps provide one-on-one support to students and helps during group therapy sessions, and enjoys visiting students in class; being read to; and modeling how to stay calm, cool, and collected.” —Tracey Carson, Mason City Schools Public Information Officer

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