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Oklahoma State University

Pet Therapy Program

Ann Hargis and her dog Scruffy

Wellness is a big part of the OSU campus. We have many robust programs centered around physical activity and nutrition, and a greater emphasis is now being placed on emotional health.

I am so pleased we have launched a pilot pet therapy program on campus – Pete's Pet Posse. The program was created by the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, in cooperation with the OSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University Counseling, Human Resources, and the Employee Assistance Program. It is truly multi-disciplinary and reaches across all campus borders.

Utilizing the expertise of the OSU Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, therapy animals are currently being trained and placed in OSU departments as an additional wellness benefit to faculty, staff, students, and even visitors to the OSU campus.

These animals belong to faculty, staff, and others affiliated with OSU and are not owned by the university. Each department decides how to utilize the therapy animals and how to best reach the population they serve. These animals live with their humans full time and help make the campus a little brighter orange each time their furry feet hit the campus.

We have already seen great success with the two classes we currently have in training. They are making a big difference wherever they go and we can't wait to add to the Posse!

The program seeks to positively enhance physical and emotional health, and contribute to the America's HEALTHIEST Campus® initiative.

For more information on the program, or to apply to have your animal participate, visit Pete's Pet Posse (http://pettherapy.okstate.edu)