Dog Therapy Program

by Stefanie Lucas

It seems hard to believe the academic year is almost over. Here at Mines students are in the middle of finals and most will be out of the halls on Wednesday. The past week was busy with end of the year celebrations, closing meetings, and programs.

Friday was pretty fun around here! Former SA First Year blogger Katie Schmalzel and I worked with our Residence Hall Association to host an afternoon of stress relief programs. We had yard games, frisbee, music playing, Zumba, and brought therapy dogs to campus. I am obsessed with Zumba and dogs so it was basically the best Friday of work ever!

We have some pretty strict policies on campus in regards to animals, so I did some research and found Therapy Dogs Inc. The organization has over 12,000 handler/dog teams across the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, and U.S Territories.

Below are a few things that helped to make the dog portion of the program successful:

  • Got permission in advance from administrators and facilities management.
  • Each dog owner had to email or fax their certificate from Therapy Dogs Inc. in advance or bring it to the event.
  • Worked with students to coordinate getting dogs to campus and logistics.
  • Our grounds crew set up a fence (see below) around a grassy area on the main part of campus. It kept the program contained into a big area. We also had trashcans and chairs for the handlers.
  • Great marketing driven by students, though when folks hear dogs they get excited.
  • Water for the pups in giant buckets (we will probably have more water next time).

Student Affairs - the First Years

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