It was a great way to start the school day — young children who walked past the intersection of Allegheny and Wylie streets in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, were escorted across the street not only by their trusty crossing guard Brad Curtis, but also by Patches, the unofficial crossing guard dog.
However, after Newswatch 16 last week broadcasted the story of the safety duo, Jersey Shore Area School District officials said Patches is no longer welcome at the intersection.
“We have clear policies in the school district regarding any type of animal during the work day,” the district superintendent’s said in a statement to the news station. “Yes, he is a cute, adorable pet. The bottom line: There are always unanticipated risks with an animal. Any known distraction needs to be removed.”
Area business owners and local residents said they’ve enjoyed seeing the 5-year-old Maltipoo, who reportedly follows his owner everywhere he goes and has been at the intersection for two years.
“People come by, even take pictures of him,” local shop owner Lyra Clark told Newswatch 16. “He’s been on the news. Everybody likes him. He’s a really nice dog.”
But prior to the newscast, the superintendent’s office said employees who monitored the crosswalks didn’t even know about the pup, who wears a yellow safety vest and stop sign above his head.
“It’s good that the school did that, though, because Patches could have done stuff even if he was trained,” fifth grader Justyce Wampler told Newswatch 16. “But it’s also upsetting, because kids really liked to see Patches.”
Curtis told the station he plans to continue his job of keeping area school children safe. Patches, on the other hand, is hanging up his crossing guard vest.