The online student news site of Redondo Union High School

High Tide

The online student news site of Redondo Union High School

High Tide

The online student news site of Redondo Union High School

High Tide

Top Dog

Junior Sidney McCann introduces the first on-campus service dog to RUHS.

Trotting their way around campus, Junior Sidney McCann and her service dog Juno have been notable for students and staff alike. Redondo welcomes the only service animal on campus, Juno, who is a one–year–old German Shepherd husky mix. Juno was recently certified as a medical response animal by McCann and acts as a companion to McCann at home and on campus. 

“Life has just been normal now that I have her,” McCann said. 

The idea of having McCann obtain a service animal started for her in middle school. However, the opportunity to finally acquire one came up for her this school year.  Juno works as a medical response animal to McCann. McCann was frequently absent from school, however with Juno at work, McCann now has perfect attendance.

“Life has just been normal now that I have her,”

— Sidney McCann

The opportunity for McCann came through a family friend that had a litter of puppies. McCann and her family helped out the family friend by helping fostering, and knew they were ultimately looking to adopt a puppy to be trained as a service animal. Last year, Juno was out training in Las Vegas for obedience through the Board and Train program and then she went into a three to four-month service animal training program, ending with her certification as a service animal.

“I met her and I just fell in love with her,” McCann said. “We were looking for a smart puppy who would adapt well to the program. When we asked which puppies would be the best candidate, it just so happened that the one that I loved was the perfect candidate, so it worked out perfectly.” 

McCann and Juno have sparked lots of conversation around campus. Some students are concerned with allergies and a fear of dogs. McCann tries to accommodate her peers with allergies and fears in a very thoughtful and careful manner.

“When I am around people who I know are allergic to dogs I try to keep my touching of her to a minimum. I also try to sit in areas with better ventilation and overall just try to keep her away from them. She will just sit and not bother anyone so it does not affect anybody’s learning,” McCann said. 

Other concerns regarding a dog on campus are students who are afraid of dogs and appliance of this fear when having to share their school environment with them.

“She has pointy ears, so a lot of people assume she’s a guard dog or attack dog. I try my best to make them feel comfortable by introducing [students] to her, just to show them that she is harmless,” McCann said. 

The process to get Juno approved to work on campus was a large process, dealing with administration approval and paperwork. Juno is the first-everfirst active service dog that has ever attended RUHS. Thus the process was unprecedented for the administration and the District, alike.

“I had been communicating with my counselor the entirety of last year about Juno’s acceptance at RUHS. And then once the year ended, I told my counselors that Juno would be going into the Board and Train program over the summer to be certified as a service animal. Once we had everything figured out, they finally realized how serious my family and I were about it,” McCann said. 

Assistant Principal Dr. Kyle Garrity and McCann’s counselor Ashley MacDonald played key roles in McCann’s request for the approval of Juno on campus. The process was extensive, but ultimately, it has worked out for, not only McCann, but admin, too. 

“They had to apply through the District of Educational Services and provide all necessary paperwork to prove that this was a trained dog,” Garrity said. “We sent a notice out to the families of students in the same classrooms regarding any health-related allergies and to communicate to us if there would be any issues too. But everything has been running smoothly with Juno’s presence on campus.”


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About the Contributor
Luca Artiga, Staff Writer
Hi I'm Luca! If you have a band shirt on I will ask you to name at least 5 songs so be prepared to fight for your life. I love concerts and hanging out with my friends. I will talk about something I’m passionate about for days so ya. Can’t wait for this new year full of life, laughs, and loves! xoxo gossip girl

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