Washington students band together to bring back school's beloved therapy dogs

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (KCPQ) - Two beloved therapy dogs that were removed from Snohomish High School will return to classrooms, but it didn't come without a fight from students who took a stand.

Sage is a therapy dog and a regular at the high school. He even has his own staff ID card, but the golden retriever has been absent after the Snohomish School District removed him and another dog named Winston from the classroom.

Junior Hamoody Smith said Sage helps keep him calm.

"As a person that suffers from anxiety, depression, and PTSD, that animal comfort is much-needed," said Smith.

According to the school district, animals on campus must meet board policy that requires up-to-date vaccinations, be trained, registered, and kept on a leash. Sage and Winston didn't check all of the boxes and were removed from school grounds about a week and a half ago.

Smith and his fellow students took matters into their own hands by starting an online petition to bring Sage and Winston back. As of Tuesday afternoon, it has more than 1,400 signatures. The group also sent messages to the school principal and the district superintendent.

"We were taking a stand for what we believe in, but also taking a stand for ourselves and the other students in creating an atmosphere of calm and relaxation that the dogs provide," said Smith.

In the end, it all paid off. The district found the dogs to be compliant with the board policy Tuesday afternoon and said the dogs will return on Friday.

"It's awesome to see how well we've come together and what is possible if we all work together towards a common goal," said Smith.