Annie is the newest Iredell-Statesville Schools’ therapy dog. She was rescued and rehabilitated to serve as a therapy dog.

Special to Iredell Free News

Iredell-Statesville Schools has added another therapy dog as a result of its partnership with Partners Behavioral Health Care.

Partners helped I-SS purchase a therapy dog in 2018, and Jake has made an incredible difference at Pressly School, said Jamie Sales, Partners’ system of care manager.

“We are pleased to be able to use these funds to bring Annie to Pressly School, as well,” Sales said.

Annie is one of three new certified therapy dogs provided by Partners through a Mental Health Block Grant. Partners covered the costs for equipment and training of the dogs, who were all selected from local rescue organizations. The other dogs will serve schools in Lincoln and Yadkin counties.

“Adding a certified therapy dog to a school setting offers a non-traditional intervention for students who need extra help in handling emotional or behavioral challenges and aligns with Partners’ mission to improve lives and strengthen communities,” said Stacy Bryant, marketing and communications supervisor with Partners.

I-SS Coordinator of Alternative Learning Mark Vaughn said the district has a strong relationship with Partners.

“With this relationship we were able to collaboratively add Annie as the second therapy dog for the students, staff and families at Pressly. We look forward to watching her make a difference for students for years to come,” Vaughn said.

About Partners Behavioral Health Care

Partners is a leading local managed care organization, providing access to care for central and western North Carolina’s most vulnerable citizens. Partners manages all Medicaid, state and local funding for intellectual/developmental disabilities, mental health and substance use disorder services in its covered areas. Partners Behavioral Health is recognized across North Carolina for the Partners Community Model and unwavering commitment to the counties and the families they serve.