(L-R) Front row: Ally Briggs, Toth Secretary and handler for Aspen, Adrienne Kolebuck, Toth Dean and handler for Aspen, Jessica Molina, Toth Principal.
(L-R) Back row: Jeff Abke, Director of Development, Perrysburg Schools, Frank Bloomquist, Regional Vice President Sales, Medical Mutual, Justin Fults, Director of Student Services & Well-Being, Perrysburg Schools, Ron DeGregorio, PHS Social Studies Educator and Aspen’s host family.

Updates & News | 2023/2024 School Year

Aspen, a trained facility dog, has completed her internship at Toth Elementary School and will be officially adopted by Perrysburg Schools and began her “fur-ever” placement at Toth Elementary in the spring of 2024, thanks to Medical Mutual.

A school assembly was organized to help celebrate students and staff at Toth, along with representatives from Medical Mutual and of course, the star of the show, Aspen!

Aspen is now the 4th full-time facility dog at Perrysburg Schools, with two additional dogs “in-training” currently. The facility dog program at Perrysburg Schools is made possible in part by private donations and sponsorships to the Perrysburg Schools Foundation, including this most recent partnership with Medical Mutual.

All of the facility dogs placed in the schools have gone through at least a year of specialty training and have the capacity to assist and participate in the school system to help support students via physical, social, cognitive and/or emotional assistance in schools/classrooms as well as in other public settings.

“I have seen firsthand how Aspen has interacted with a student in need of additional support,” shared Dr. Justin R. Fults, Director of Student Services & Well-Being, Perrysburg Schools. “When a student can relate with a trained animal in this way, maybe give her a hug or read a book to her, I have seen students better able to return to their learning because of that connection. These dogs are one more asset that we have to be able to better serve all learners.”

“The impact of the facility dog program is a powerful one for our students and staff members across the school district and a valuable one,” said Jeff Abke, Director of Development for Perrysburg Schools. “It is a significant investment to adopt a facility dog, including their training and onboarding the staff members. Medical Mutual’s commitment covered that portion of bringing Aspen here to Toth and we thank them immensely for this partnership that has and will continue to make a difference for our students for years to come.”

“Mutual is more than just part of our name; for the last 90 years, it’s been core to our identity as a hometown health insurer,” shared Frank Bloomquist, Regional Vice President Sales, Medical Mutual. “We are grateful for this opportunity to be part of Aspen’s adoption and add just one more tool in the toolbox for the faculty and staff at Toth Elementary to support our Perrysburg students.”

The Perrysburg Schools Foundation helps fund the Facility Dog Program, including food, equipment, travel expenses and other needs, with the support of many individual and corporate donors. The basic medical services for the dogs have graciously been donated by Perrysburg Animal Hospital and all grooming services are donated by Plontzie’s in Perrysburg. To learn more, please visit https://bit.ly/PburgDogs, text PburgDogs to 91999 or contact the Perrysburg Schools Foundation at 419-874-9131 x 2274 or jabke@perrysburgschools.net.