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Puppies from the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe visited Encinitas teachers at Ocean Knoll Elementary for Teacher Appreciation Week. Courtesy photo.
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Puppies visit Encinitas teachers for appreciation week

RANCHO SANTA FE — The Helen Woodward Animal Center paid a special puppy visit to teachers at Ocean Knoll Elementary in Encinitas during Teacher Appreciation Week, recognized May 6 to 10.

Teachers got to feel the love and appreciation from two of the center’s adoptable puppies, Cheryl and Hank. 

These 4-month-old shepherd puppies spent their play time with teachers and administrators during a special appreciation lunch. During the lunch period, teachers got the chance to take a break and sit down with the young dogs, who were eager and happy to share their excitement.

“It felt so wonderful – we have been anticipating this day since last week,” said Teacher Julie Kusiak. “Being a teacher is a high stress job sometimes. Playing with puppies makes that stress completely disappear. I have dogs. I love my dogs. We were all looking forward to our lunch time today because of all the joy we knew we were going to receive from these animals.”

Research has discovered quality time spent with animals is great for the mind and body. Benefits can include lower blood pressure, finding inner peace and a calming effect, and help refocus memory and concentration – all aspects that are critically important to professions like teaching. 

Studies have found receiving admiration and positive energy of any kind can vastly improve performance and increase motivation.

Helen Woodward Animal Center’s ‘Business Buddies’ program partners with organizations to bring the joyful, soothing interaction of puppies to a place of employment.

For more information on Helen Woodward Animal Center visit or call (858) 756-4117.

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