A FUENGIROLA mother is battling local education authorities in order to allow her 12-year-old daughter to attend school alongside her therapy dog in the next academic year, and has already collected over 30,000 signatures.
Patricia Jimenez Fernandez was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer in 2011, when she was seven, and now suffers partial memory loss, epilepsy and extreme disorientation due to radiotherapy she has received.
She currently attends school one hour per day, accompanied by mum Marisa Jimenez, but has now asked to attend more due to being “bored at home,” and the idea is to allow her to go for two hours per day, plus break time, accompanied by therapy dog Dora.
Patricia currently sees eight-month-old Dora once a month, but from July the golden retriever will be a new addition to the Jimenez family after completing her training at K9 Malaga, Torremolinos.
Unlike in Madrid and Catalunya, there are no specific regulations governing the use of therapy dogs in Andalucian schools, and Marisa was only able to encounter one comparable example in Jaen, so she decided to start a petition on the Change.org website.
This received 24,000 signatures in the first day, a figure which has now risen to 32,000, with the family requesting that Patricia be allowed to attend with Dora, and also be provided with a dedicated carer during school hours.
If anyone would like to sign the petition, please follow this link https://www.change.org/p/juntainforma-mi-hija-necesita-a-su-perra-de-asistencia-para-poder-ir-a-clase