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Danville Independent Schools

School Resource Officer Ben Ray and therapy dog Scooter
School Resource Officer Ben Ray and therapy dog Scooter

School Resource Officer Ben Ray and therapy dog Scooter


Thanks to a persuasive video essay and presentation by Katie Newton’s class at Danville High School, DHS has a new therapy dog. The 1-year-old black lab’s name is Scooter.

Newton’s class submitted the persuasive piece to the Danville Police Department’s assistant chief. School Resource Officer Ben Ray welcomed Scooter into his family and into the school earlier this month. 

Scooter’s first day at DHS was March 17, and even on his first day, he met lots of students and staff members. 

He also visited Mary G. Hogsett Primary School preschoolers on March 27, where he was a huge hit with the students. 

Scooter did his training with Ray at Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Paws and Stripes College in Brevard County, Florida. 

Ray has two other dogs, a 7-year-old golden retriever and a rescue dog around the same age. He said Scooter is fitting right in with them and his family. 

Scooter, a 1-year-old black lab.

Scooter is a 1-year-old black lab. 


“He’s fit right in,” Ray said. “I’ve got my two babies — they love him. My wife loves him, and he loves them.” 

Scooter will be based primarily at DHS, but Ray plans to take him for visits to all of the schools in the Danville Independent School District. 

“If they’re having a rough day or having issues at home, this gives them a bit of relief,” he said. 

Ray said Scooter has a calm and loving demeanor and soaks up pets and affection. He’s excited that Scooter will be a resource for the kids, and hopes it will encourage students to open up to him more as well, if they need someone to talk to. 

“Having Scooter here, and kids knowing they can come and pet on him and love on him and hang out with him — hopefully that’ll encourage them to talk with me also, whether it’s a normal conversation or if they have something weighing on their minds and they need someone to talk to,” Ray said. “Hopefully having Scooter here will encourage them to come and open up a little.” 

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