JERSEY SHORE, Pa. — As the school year goes into its second month, children won’t be greeted by Patches, the crossing guard dog, like they were in previous years.
The school board district had “terminated” Patches’ position and he is no longer welcome at the crossing post.
Patches has accompanied his owner, Brad Curtis, in his daily job as a crossing guard for the past two years, but recently Curtis was informed that the dog needed to be removed for safety reasons.
Superintendent Dorothy Chappel spoke on the matter saying, “We clear policies in the school district regarding any type of animal during the work day.” She later continued that although he is a cute and adorable pet, there are always unanticipated risks with an animal and any known distraction needs to be removed.
The children and parents were surprised to hear the dog had been removed from his post, saying how they were going to miss the cute dog on their daily school routes.
Curtis said that people got a kick out of seeing him, saying that traffic and pedestrians alike seem to pay more attention and really slowed down for him, helping to keep the speed down at that particular intersection.
Curtis never trained the dog for the job, but said the pet’s friendly demeanor helped him.
“He follows my every movement and his eyes are totally focused on my feet,” he said. “He just follows me when I stop and go. It’s amazing.”
Although fired from his former gig, recently Patches has found a new job in Lycoming County as a security guard dog and Goodwill Ambassador at the Country Beary Shack in Jersey Shore.
The new job includes a uniform and Patches gets the lucky task of greeting customers outside the store from 2 to 4 p.m.