Marianna autism school students learn about K-9 tracking
MARIANNA, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Students at the autism school NextStep at Endevour Academy are exploring their career opportunities.
NextStep at Endevour Academy Director Tammy Dasher says the program’s goal is to ensure scholars are aware of employment and independent living options Marianna. During the month of February, the focus is on jobs around animals.
“We all need to have a job that we’re passionate about. And for a lot of people on the autism spectrum the unconditional love that their pets give them is so important, many, many people on the spectrum work with horses and dogs and cats because they don’t have to worry about their social skills, deficits, they can just be who they are, and we all know our animals love us unconditionally.”
Wednesday morning the scholars took a field trip to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office to learn about its K-9 Tracking Team and how the dogs are used to track missing people and criminals on the run.
Charlie Price is the K-9 Tracking Unit Sergeant. He says training begins when the pups are just six weeks old.
“We will actually go out into a field and take the dogs and start working on them with sight tracking,” said Price. “Basically, I take them out and set the dogs on the ground beside me and when I take off walking and they follow me, and they’ve just recently been taken away from their mother weaned away So they look to me as a source of food and everything else so I’m their provider, so they want to find me.”
Trinity Ward is a student at NextStep at Endevour Academy. She says she is hoping the fun field trips continue.
“Honestly, I hope I can have more interesting field trips along with my classmates like this,” said Ward. “I honestly thought it was going to be a rather quick fieldtrip but getting the chance to hold one of their newest recruits I feel quite happy.”
Members with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office say they hope to make informative classes a recurring event.
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