Commissioners discuss ‘therapy dog’

By Kelsey Kimbler -

EATON — During a meeting on Monday, Dec. 16 Preble County Juvenile Court staff spoke to Preble County Commissioners regarding a “therapy dog request.”

Court Administrator Heather Morton explained, Juvenile Probation Officer Teresa Leyes got the idea from another county. She went through an obedience course with her dog that other courts utilize as an incentive for kids in managing anxiety.

“Kids might feel apprehensive about coming to court and the dog works as an incentive,” Morton said.

Leyes has completed the training already. Morton checked with other counties regarding liability insurance and is under the impression that CEBCO covers the program.

“It wouldn’t be an every day thing, it would be as-needed,” Morton said.

According to Commission Clerk Kim Keller, CEBCO covers certified therapy dogs.

“If it is not certified, they do not cover it,” she said.

Morton asserted this would not be a “therapy dog” and Commissioner Rodney Creech wondered if there was just a difference in terminology.

Keller asked if it would be a “county dog” and Morton replied, she assumed it would be Leyes’ dog since she is taking care of it. Commissioner Chris Day reiterated the question, stating it would make a difference on what CEBCO could cover.

“If it would be county property, like the dog at the Sheriff’s Office, then we cover all it’s expenses and stuff like that,” he said.

“I don’t think that is the case,” Morton said. “I think Teresa is willing to house it and take care of it. I think it is going to be hers and it will only be here in times of need.”

Day asked why they would need to insure the dog. Morton responded, she would “assume” in case it bites somebody.

“We’re not insuring the dog, we’re just looking for liability coverage,” Creech said.

Morton added, she is sure Leyes already has insurance on the dog.

“Then I’m sure that’s all she needs,” Commissioner Denise Robertson said.

“So, Teresa is going to maintain the dog? She is just offering the service of bringing it in,” Commissioner Day clarified. Morton responded he was correct.

Day requested getting additional information on how the program would work and what insurance is needed.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH