W.F. Teen to Instruct Special Ed Class at Humane Society of W.C.

- A Wichita Falls high school student is about to take on a rewarding job designed to help special education students.

Alexis Shanes is a high school senior who will soon be an instructor.

Last fall the Paws for Greatness program ended, which helped teach teens in the Wichita County Juvenile Probation Department patience and responsibility by having them train troublesome shelter dogs.

Soon, a similar program will begin using mild-mannered shelter dogs to help Wichita Falls ISD special education students. And the instructor of that program will be Alexis Shanes.

"I'm still 15.  I've been home schooled all my life.  I'm now a senior in high school.  Currently I'm taking all my classes at MSU."

Soon, Alexis Shanes will be teaching a class of special education students at the Humane Society of Wichita County. But it's not her first time as an instructor.

"I've taken dogs through training courses and I've given therapeutic horseback riding lessons so this will allow me to help children experience the joy and responsibility of being around dogs," Shanes says.

"And we have extra grant money that we have to use up so we thought what a better way to use then to get children involved with another child and we just think it's an awesome program," says Cheryl Miller, executive director of the Humane Society of Wichita County.

And Alexis is expected to be an awesome instructor. In fact, she's already working on how to select the perfect dogs.

For this program, I want one who's quiet, who's not jumping up excessively on the kids, who doesn't pull back when we put a leash on him.  We want him to walk," Alexis explains.

But Alexis says her students won't handle fickle dogs, like this one.

The Humane Society has $2,500 left from the grant that funded the Paws for Greatness program. That money will now be used to pay Alexis and fund the new program, which does not have an officials name yet but will start sometime next month.

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