Saint Peter's University's Service Dog Program

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Author Rachel Wifall speaks with great affection of the service dogs she has come to know, another factor in wellness. Dr. Wifall’s colleague and friend at Saint Peter’s University, chemistry professor Pat Redden, trains service dogs to help individuals with special needs. Her first trainee, Ella, did not finish the program but instead became Dr. Redden’s pet. Ella (photo below) is a registered therapy dog who comforts students at the library during final exams. Dr. Redden is now leading Vincent (pictured here) through the 16- to 18- month course to become a service dog. Students and staff have begun raising aspiring service dogs through her agency.

Consider how your college or university might incorporate dogs to serve students, faculty and staff. One idea is to follow Seattle University's lead and create a De-stress with Dogs event around the time of finals each quarter or semester.