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Winona ISD votes to recognize Gus the corgi as official emotional support dog

The Winona ISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted to recognize Gus as the elementary campus'...
The Winona ISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted to recognize Gus as the elementary campus' official social/emotional support dog.(Kristin Tillman)
Updated: Jan. 24, 2020 at 10:58 AM CST
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WINONA, Texas (KLTV) - The elementary school campus of Winona ISD will be seeing a new employee in the halls, ready to provide support and receive pets.

The Winona ISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted during Thursday’s regular meeting to make Gus, a 4-year-old Pembroke Welsh corgi, the official social/emotional support animal at the school district’s elementary campus.

Gus has just finished 12 weeks of training and he has five weeks of training left, according to Kristin Tillman, Gus’ human. She works as a counselor at the elementary school campus. Once Gus’ training is finished, his various certifications will be on the AKC online registry.

Gus is a Pembroke Welsh corgi. (Source: Kristin Tillman)
Gus is a Pembroke Welsh corgi. (Source: Kristin Tillman)(Kristin Tillman)

The school eased Gus into his new role, according to Jason Caldwell, the principal at the elementary campus. He was first brought to the campus on a leash to see if he could handle being around so many kids. Gus took to his position wonderfully and the students responded positively to the lovable corgi with an affinity for belly rubs.

“He loves belly rubs,” Caldwell said. “Sometimes, it looks like he has this big smile on his face when he’s surrounded by kids who are petting him. Our students love him!”

A group of Winona elementary students shower love and affection on Gus, a Pembroke Welsh corgi....
A group of Winona elementary students shower love and affection on Gus, a Pembroke Welsh corgi. (Source: Kristin Tillman)(Kristin Tillman)

Gus’ status as the official social/emotional support animal for the school is the result of something that has been in the works since July or August. Caldwell said he first began to consider emotional support animals during an education conference where someone brought up the idea.

Caldwell said that if Gus proves to be a success, the school district mak look into getting a larger therapy dog in addition to Gus.

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