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Patches The Crossing Guard Dog ‘Fired’

JERSEY SHORE — We first introduced you to Patches the crossing guard dog last week. Since then, Patches is no longer allowed out at the crosswalk while hi...
patches part 2

JERSEY SHORE -- We first introduced you to Patches the crossing guard dog last week. Since then, Patches is no longer allowed out at the crosswalk while his owner is on duty.

Jersey Shore Area School District officials told their employee he can no longer have his dog Patches outside at the crosswalk while he's working.

The school district wants people to know this decision was made not because of Patches, but because it keeps everyone around the crosswalk safe.

Almost every day, crossing guard Brad Curtis is out with his big red sign and orange safety vest on the corner of Allegheny Street in Jersey Shore.

But parents also expect to see something else when they reach the intersection.

"Patches is missing," said Jersey Shore resident Amy Wampler. "We didn't see him this morning and we wondered why, and now he's not here."

"We see the dog every day, every single day for almost two years now," said another resident.

Curtis works for Jersey Shore Area School District. He usually brings his 5-year-old Multipoo with him to work.

Lyra Clark could see the dog from her shop Country Beary Shack. The pooch wears his own stop sign and safety vest.

"People come by, even take pictures of him. He's been on the news. Everybody likes him. He's a really nice dog."

It seems most everyone loves Patches, but school officials won't let the dog stay at the crosswalk because it's against school policy.

Before Newswatch 16's story, Jersey Shore Area School District officials tell us employees who monitor the crosswalks didn't know about the pooch.

No one has ever reported the dog to the school.

The school district's superintendent tells Newswatch 16:

"We have clear policies in the school district regarding any type of animal during the work day. 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."

"It's good that the school did that though because Patches could have done stuff even if he was trained," said fifth grader Justyce Wampler.

"But it's also upsetting because kids really liked to see Patches."

"For safety I can understand that, but Patches can always stay in my parking lot. He is always welcome here," said Clark.

As for Curtis the crossing guard, he says he plans to continue his job even without Patches.