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Advocates believe dogs will make schools safer

  • In this Feb. 18, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, Harris County Sheriff's Deputy John Palermo and his dog Rico meet with children at the TutorVille HUB in Houston.  Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school.  Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Josh Welch)

    In this Feb. 18, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, Harris County Sheriff's Deputy John Palermo and his dog Rico meet with children at the TutorVille HUB in Houston. Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school. Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Josh Welch)

  • In this Feb. 18, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, Harris County Sheriff's Deputy John Palermo and his dog Rico meet with children at the TutorVille HUB in Houston.  Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school.  Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Josh Welch)

    In this Feb. 18, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, Harris County Sheriff's Deputy John Palermo and his dog Rico meet with children at the TutorVille HUB in Houston. Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school. Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Josh Welch)

  • This April 28, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, Houston Police officer Matt Barnet and his dog Aiko take part in a K9s4COPS charity softball tournament  in Houston. Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school.  Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Veronica Schiller)

    This April 28, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, Houston Police officer Matt Barnet and his dog Aiko take part in a K9s4COPS charity softball tournament in Houston. Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school. Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Veronica Schiller)

  • This April 28, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, Houston Police officer Matt Barnet and his dog Aiko take part in a K9s4COPS charity softball tournament  in Houston. Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school.  Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Veronica Schiller)

    This April 28, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, Houston Police officer Matt Barnet and his dog Aiko take part in a K9s4COPS charity softball tournament in Houston. Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school. Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Veronica Schiller)

  • In this Oct. 25, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, security dog Sjors takes down a human decoy at the Texas K9 Officers Conference & Trials in Houston.  Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school.  Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Billy Miller)

    In this Oct. 25, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, security dog Sjors takes down a human decoy at the Texas K9 Officers Conference & Trials in Houston. Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school. Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Billy Miller)

  • In this Feb. 18, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, children share time with canine mascot Johnny Cash at the TutorVille HUB in Houston.  Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school.  Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Josh Welch)

    In this Feb. 18, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, children share time with canine mascot Johnny Cash at the TutorVille HUB in Houston. Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school. Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Josh Welch)

  • This photo released by the Natural History Museum of Utah, shows a front view of the skull of the fossilized skeleton of a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, which was found in southern Utah, and now on the display at the museum in Salt Lake City. Paleontologists who made the discovery believe the dinosaur lived 70-95 million years ago in the late Cretaceous Period, living on a landmass in the flooded the central region of North America. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Mark Loewen)

    This photo released by the Natural History Museum of Utah, shows a front view of the skull of the fossilized skeleton of a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, which was found in southern Utah, and now on the display at the museum in Salt Lake City. Paleontologists who made the discovery believe the dinosaur lived 70-95 million years ago in the late Cretaceous Period, living on a landmass in the flooded the central region of North America. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Mark Loewen)

  • This photo released by the Natural History Museum of Utah, shows a front view of the skull of the fossilized skeleton of a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, which was found in southern Utah, and now on the display at the museum in Salt Lake City. Paleontologists who made the discovery believe the dinosaur lived 70-95 million years ago in the late Cretaceous Period, living on a landmass in the flooded the central region of North America. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Mark Loewen)

    This photo released by the Natural History Museum of Utah, shows a front view of the skull of the fossilized skeleton of a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, which was found in southern Utah, and now on the display at the museum in Salt Lake City. Paleontologists who made the discovery believe the dinosaur lived 70-95 million years ago in the late Cretaceous Period, living on a landmass in the flooded the central region of North America. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Mark Loewen)

  • This photo released by the Natural History Museum of Utah shows the fossilized skeleton of a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, which was found in southern Utah, on the display at the museum in Salt Lake City. The specimen is 24 feet long and 8 feet high. AP photo

    This photo released by the Natural History Museum of Utah shows the fossilized skeleton of a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, which was found in southern Utah, on the display at the museum in Salt Lake City. The specimen is 24 feet long and 8 feet high. AP photo

  • This photo released by the Natural History Museum of Utah shows the fossilized skeleton of a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, which was found in southern Utah, on the display at the museum in Salt Lake City.  The specimen is 24 feet (8 meters) long and 8 feet (2.4 meters) high. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Mark Loewen)

    This photo released by the Natural History Museum of Utah shows the fossilized skeleton of a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, which was found in southern Utah, on the display at the museum in Salt Lake City. The specimen is 24 feet (8 meters) long and 8 feet (2.4 meters) high. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Mark Loewen)

  • This artist's rendering released by the Natural History Museum of Utah, shows a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, whose fossils have been found in southern Utah. Paleontologists say this proves giant tyrant dinosaurs like the Tyrannosaurus rex were around 10 million years earlier than previously believed. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Audrey Atuchin)

    This artist's rendering released by the Natural History Museum of Utah, shows a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, whose fossils have been found in southern Utah. Paleontologists say this proves giant tyrant dinosaurs like the Tyrannosaurus rex were around 10 million years earlier than previously believed. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Audrey Atuchin)

  • This artist's rendering released by the Natural History Museum of Utah, shows a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, whose fossils have been found in southern Utah. Paleontologists say this proves giant tyrant dinosaurs like the Tyrannosaurus rex were around 10 million years earlier than previously believed. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Audrey Atuchin)

    This artist's rendering released by the Natural History Museum of Utah, shows a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, whose fossils have been found in southern Utah. Paleontologists say this proves giant tyrant dinosaurs like the Tyrannosaurus rex were around 10 million years earlier than previously believed. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Audrey Atuchin)

  • This image released by the Natural History Museum of Utah shows a model of a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, whose fossils have been found in southern Utah. Paleontologists say the bone-crushing carnivore is the equivalent of the great uncle of the T. rex. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Gary Staab)

    This image released by the Natural History Museum of Utah shows a model of a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, whose fossils have been found in southern Utah. Paleontologists say the bone-crushing carnivore is the equivalent of the great uncle of the T. rex. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Gary Staab)

  • This image released by the Natural History Museum of Utah shows a model of a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, whose fossils have been found in southern Utah. Paleontologists say the bone-crushing carnivore is the equivalent of the great uncle of the T. rex. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Gary Staab)

    This image released by the Natural History Museum of Utah shows a model of a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, whose fossils have been found in southern Utah. Paleontologists say the bone-crushing carnivore is the equivalent of the great uncle of the T. rex. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Gary Staab)

  • In this Feb. 18, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, children share time with canine mascot Johnny Cash at the TutorVille HUB in Houston.  Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school.  Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Josh Welch)

    In this Feb. 18, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, children share time with canine mascot Johnny Cash at the TutorVille HUB in Houston. Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school. Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Josh Welch)

  • In this Oct. 25, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, security dog Sjors takes down a human decoy at the Texas K9 Officers Conference & Trials in Houston.  Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school.  Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Billy Miller)

    In this Oct. 25, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, security dog Sjors takes down a human decoy at the Texas K9 Officers Conference & Trials in Houston. Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school. Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Billy Miller)

  • In this Feb. 18, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, Harris County Sheriff's Deputy John Palermo and his dog Rico meet with children at the TutorVille HUB in Houston.  Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school.  Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Josh Welch)
  • In this Feb. 18, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, Harris County Sheriff's Deputy John Palermo and his dog Rico meet with children at the TutorVille HUB in Houston.  Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school.  Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Josh Welch)
  • This April 28, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, Houston Police officer Matt Barnet and his dog Aiko take part in a K9s4COPS charity softball tournament  in Houston. Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school.  Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Veronica Schiller)
  • This April 28, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, Houston Police officer Matt Barnet and his dog Aiko take part in a K9s4COPS charity softball tournament  in Houston. Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school.  Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Veronica Schiller)
  • In this Oct. 25, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, security dog Sjors takes down a human decoy at the Texas K9 Officers Conference & Trials in Houston.  Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school.  Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Billy Miller)
  • In this Feb. 18, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, children share time with canine mascot Johnny Cash at the TutorVille HUB in Houston.  Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school.  Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Josh Welch)
  • This photo released by the Natural History Museum of Utah, shows a front view of the skull of the fossilized skeleton of a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, which was found in southern Utah, and now on the display at the museum in Salt Lake City. Paleontologists who made the discovery believe the dinosaur lived 70-95 million years ago in the late Cretaceous Period, living on a landmass in the flooded the central region of North America. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Mark Loewen)
  • This photo released by the Natural History Museum of Utah, shows a front view of the skull of the fossilized skeleton of a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, which was found in southern Utah, and now on the display at the museum in Salt Lake City. Paleontologists who made the discovery believe the dinosaur lived 70-95 million years ago in the late Cretaceous Period, living on a landmass in the flooded the central region of North America. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Mark Loewen)
  • This photo released by the Natural History Museum of Utah shows the fossilized skeleton of a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, which was found in southern Utah, on the display at the museum in Salt Lake City. The specimen is 24 feet long and 8 feet high. AP photo
  • This photo released by the Natural History Museum of Utah shows the fossilized skeleton of a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, which was found in southern Utah, on the display at the museum in Salt Lake City.  The specimen is 24 feet (8 meters) long and 8 feet (2.4 meters) high. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Mark Loewen)
  • This artist's rendering released by the Natural History Museum of Utah, shows a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, whose fossils have been found in southern Utah. Paleontologists say this proves giant tyrant dinosaurs like the Tyrannosaurus rex were around 10 million years earlier than previously believed. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Audrey Atuchin)
  • This artist's rendering released by the Natural History Museum of Utah, shows a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, whose fossils have been found in southern Utah. Paleontologists say this proves giant tyrant dinosaurs like the Tyrannosaurus rex were around 10 million years earlier than previously believed. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Audrey Atuchin)
  • This image released by the Natural History Museum of Utah shows a model of a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, whose fossils have been found in southern Utah. Paleontologists say the bone-crushing carnivore is the equivalent of the great uncle of the T. rex. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Gary Staab)
  • This image released by the Natural History Museum of Utah shows a model of a newly-discovered dinosaur, Lythronax argestes, whose fossils have been found in southern Utah. Paleontologists say the bone-crushing carnivore is the equivalent of the great uncle of the T. rex. (AP Photo/Natural History Museum of Utah, Gary Staab)
  • In this Feb. 18, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, children share time with canine mascot Johnny Cash at the TutorVille HUB in Houston.  Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school.  Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Josh Welch)
  • In this Oct. 25, 2013 photo provided by K9s4KIDS, security dog Sjors takes down a human decoy at the Texas K9 Officers Conference & Trials in Houston.  Schools have beefed up security, staged mock drills and added metal detectors, cameras and alarms to prevent violence. Some think teachers should be armed and the National Rifle Association wants armed police in every American school.  Kristi Schiller thinks some special dogs might do the trick. She wants her charity, K9s4KIDS, to do for schools what it’s done for police departments in the U.S. - place scores of trained dogs among their ranks through the nonprofit set up in 2009. (AP Photo/K9s4KIDS, Billy Miller)

While some say school safety hinges on guns, cameras or alarms in classrooms, Mark Gomer and Kristi Schiller think specially trained dogs should take point in preventing violence in schools.

Gomer’s for-profit company has sent a gun- and drug-detecting dog to patrol the halls of an Ohio high school, while Schiller is launching a nonprofit in Houston to give schools the trained canines for free. Their programs are still in their infancy, so questions remain about dogs that can distract, scare or send kids into sneezing fits. But they think they can cultivate their ideas to help schools across the country stay safe.

Gomer’s first full-time safety dog is a year-old Dutch shepherd named Atticus, who reported to duty this school year at Oak Hills High School in Green Township in Ohio.

The dog trained at the school before the summer break, said Gomer, co-owner of American Success Dog Training in Bridgetown, Ohio. As part of the company’s School Protection Dog program, Atticus learned on the job about marching bands and school bells and the thunk of books hitting a locker.

Gomer, who has trained about 8,000 dogs over 20 years and has three children in the school district, suggested the dog after 20 students and six teachers were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Atticus has won over students, parents, teachers and district Superintendent Todd Yohey, who initially worried what people would think of him spending $10,000 on a dog. Gomer has talked to a lot of parents and faculty, and they are saying it was money well-spent, he said.

Atticus spends his days on a leash with two security guards and goes home with Principal John Stoddard at night.

For her part, Schiller is looking to provide safety dogs to schools free of charge. She hopes her new initiative, K9s4KIDs, does for schools what her K9s4COPs did for police departments. She has placed more than 60 dogs with agencies in three years.

“These canines are extremely social, yet highly qualified warriors that are accustomed to going straight to the source of a threat or shooter and disengaging the suspect armed with the weapon,” said Schiller, a Houston mother and philanthropist.

The idea for K9s4KIDs grew out of school shootings and suggestions on applications for police dogs, she said.

“Something that came up was the lack of campus police or sufficient support for the law enforcement agencies that responded,” Schiller said.

If a school applies for and is chosen to receive a dog, it will come fully trained and paid for. Buying and training a safety dog costs between $10,000 and $15,000, she said.

Schiller said it would be up to school officials to decide who will handle the dogs, what they will be trained to search for, and if a dog will be assigned to one school or several in a district.

Schools will also have to consider the expense of providing medical care, food, a home and handler for the dog.

As the programs get up and running, questions remain about possible health problems and distractions the dogs can cause.

But Gomer said that fear and allergies are nothing new. He said police departments have been bringing dogs into schools for years, and some children with disabilities use them, too.

“If a child is allergic or extremely fearful, the (safety) dog will steer clear,” he said.

A school safety expert said those are concerns parents and schools will have to work out. Ken Trump, president of the Cleveland-based National School Safety and Security Services consulting firm, discussed the issue in general because he was not familiar with either program.

He said the dogs would have to be extremely social to deal with students’ initial excitement.

“Kids are going to be all over those dogs,” Trump said. “There are concerns to work around, but with the right dogs and right handlers and the right policies and procedures, they should be very beneficial.”

He said the dogs encountering a gunman would be a benefit, but the relationships the kids build with the dogs and handlers and the sense of well-being they create will probably be more lasting and life-changing.

The dogs might be a distraction in the beginning, but they will become part of what students expect to see when they go to school, Trump said.

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