Therapy dogs coming to BYU campus

Utah Pet Partners services are provided by volunteers. (Utah Pet Partners)

Read in Spanish: Los perros de terapia llegan al campus de BYU

Therapy dogs from Utah Pet Partners are coming to campus Feb. 28 and March 9 as an extension of last year’s You Are Loved campaign.

The event was supposed to take place Fall 2019, but because there was so much interest, the You Are Loved committee decided to reschedule the event so it could be held over two days instead of one, said committee chair and associate dean of students Nathan Ward.

“This was meant to be an opportunity for students to interact with therapy dogs as a way to destress during a very stressful time of the semester,” Ward said.

Students can interact with the therapy dogs from 10 to 11:30 am on Feb. 28 and from 3 to 4:30 pm on March 9 in 3228 WSC. Five to six therapy dogs will be coming along with their handlers. Ward said the You Are Loved committee anticipates groups of four to five students interacting with each dog at a time during a 10-15 minute session.

Junior Hannah Beagley said she’s excited for the dogs to come. “I’ve always believed that pets have the ability to lower stress levels in humans,” she said. “You can never have a bad day when you see a dog.”

A variety dog breeds serve as therapy dogs at Utah Pet Partners. (Utah Pet Partners)

The committee decided to do the event because of students’ requests for the service according to You Are Loved committee student representative Kathryn Sobczak. She said BYU isn’t the first school to do this — many other universities across the nation have brought therapy dogs to their campuses, including the University of Utah.

“It’s really cool to have students be so excited about a new way of de-stressing that BYU hasn’t really done before,” Sobczak said.

She said she’s been impressed with how willing the administration has been to devote resources, time and faculty for students. “They really care about us,” she said. “They genuinely care and will go to great lengths to be able to include us and welcome us with open arms.” 

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