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Kinser brings dog therapy to Abingdon Elementary students

Feeling ruff? Students at Abingdon Elementary School benefit from dog therapy once a week from two very special pups.

Dandelion (“Dandi”), a 5-year-old beagle, and Aagin, a nearly 10-year-old border collie, alternate visiting the school every week with their handler, Shelley Kinser of Gloucester Point. Kinser has served as a volunteer at Abingdon Elementary for the past eight years with her dogs and was honored at the Dec. 12 Gloucester County School Board meeting as volunteer of the month.

Kinser has been involved in animal therapy for about 35 years. She has been in cancer, rehabilitation and nursing home facilities with different therapy animals over the years.

“Most of my animals like the elderly,” said Kinser. Aagin and Dandi, however, prefer children.

“Nothing really fazes them,” said Kinser about Aagin and Dandi. The two dogs have been involved in difficult situations like fire drills and students acting out, and remain calm through it all.

According to Kinser, t...

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