Therapy dogs go virtual during COVID-19 shutdown

TOLEDO (WTVG) - Area therapy dogs are taking their comfort skills online during the COVID-19 crisis.

The dogs are placed at area schools by the Ability Centers Assistance Dogs program. The teachers who utilize the dogs are now reaching out to their students through online classroom lessons.

Jillian Cowell has Teila, a lab/golden mix, and she sends kids what she calls counselor-grams with Teila. The kids get a one on one visit with her, as well.

"Any time I have a child that is anxious, one of the ways that I can kind of get them to talk and open up, especially if they're not one to share or share very openly, if they just have that time to sit and pet her then they start talking," Cowell said.