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Dog Therapy

The Student Counseling Service (SCS) is pleased to offer Dog Therapy! A primary goal of SCS is to promote positive mental health and well-being among Miami University students and our dog therapy program is one way we meet this goal. Interacting with animals is a proven way to decrease stress and feel a sense of connection and acceptance.

Meet the Dogs

Meet Okie

Photograph of a white dog named Okie.

Okie is a four-year-old American pitbull terrier mix and handled by Mary O' Leary. He was adopted after a foster failure and it was obvious he was meant to be hers. He loves squeaky toys and enjoys a cheese treat (and honestly all treats and snacks).

You can meet Okie on Mondays from 2-3 p.m., at our larger dog events, and at requested meetings.

Meet Enya

Photograph of a white and red dog named Enya surrounded by people petting her.

Enya is a ten-year-old Irish red and white Setter handled by Mary O'Leary. She has been a therapy dog for several years after coming out of the show ring. She has also done a little bit of obedience work and is an AKC Champion. She loves cheese and any attention you can give her.

Enya is usually at our larger dog events.

Meet Duck

Photograph of a black dog named Duck.

Duck is a seven-year-old Black English Labrador and is handled by Marilyn C. He has been a therapy dog for five years and has worked with children, college students, and adults. Duck enjoys salmon flavored treats, sleeping, and belly rubs.

You can meet Duck on Thursdays from 3-4 p.m., and at our larger events.

Meet Poppy

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Poppy

Poppy is a six-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and handled by Melanie Uy, Psy.D. She is a rescue dog, and is excited to be a part of the program and can provide Animal Assisted Therapy. Poppy enjoys treats, naps and compliments.

You can meet Poppy on Tuesdays from 2-3 p.m., at our larger dog events, and at requested meetings.

Who May Benefit from Dog Therapy

Any student who likes dogs or feels peace and connection in interacting with animals may benefit from attending a Dog Therapy event. Those with anxiety, depression, loss issues, loneliness and homesickness may especially benefit.

But you do not need to have a “mental health concern” to visit and enjoy a session with our Therapy Dogs—any student stressed by a demanding schedule, distance from loved ones, or perhaps especially missing a family pet companion is welcome at Dog Therapy events.

Are the Dogs Certified and Insured?

Yes, therapy dogs are formally trained and certified to be in the role of a therapy dog. Therapy dog certification usually requires a basic level of obedience, consideration for dog temperament and connecting with a therapy dog organization. Our therapy dogs are certified and insured through Alliance of Therapy Dogs, Therapy Dog International, and Pet Partners.

What is the Cost for Dog Therapy Services?

All Dog therapy services are provided on a volunteer basis.

There is no cost for attending the one-to-one open therapy hours at the SCS. Similarly, attending a Dog Therapy event like Therapy Dog Day at Midterms/Finals is cost-free, as is arranging a visit to a campus residence hall or officially sanctioned student organization.

How Do I Arrange for the Therapy Dogs to Visit my Campus Group/Organization, Class, or Residence Hall Event?

We are unable to accomodate individual student requests for a therapy dog visit due to current demand, and primarily reserve our therapy dog visits and events for campus groups/organizations, academic departments and offices, classroom visits, or residence hall visits through the Office of Residence Life.

Ask your Resident Advisor, Resident Director, group leader(s), professor or staff to submit the Dog Therapy Request Form. We ask that you submit a request at least two weeks before the event to allow for planning. Plase note the fall semester therapy dog calendar is full and we are accepting requests for the spring semester at this time.

We ask that the host of the visit provide a public space that is easily accessible. You need to provide a bowl of fresh, clean water for the dogs and for indoor spaces, and we also ask that there be a carpet/rug for the dogs to sit on.

If the original plan is to host the dogs outside, please also have a back up indoor location in case of weather.

The safety of our dogs is paramount so we ask that the location be free of anything dangerous to animals and that those attending be sober and maintain a welcoming atmosphere for the animals. No other animals or food are permitted in the area of the therapy dog. The handler will remain with the dogs at all times during a visit.

We reserve the right to cancel a visit or leave an event early if there is any question of safety for the handler or the animals.

Clinical Health Sciences and Wellness Facility

Student Counseling Service

Clinical Health Sciences and Wellness Facility
421 South Campus Ave.
Oxford, Ohio 45056
513-529-4634 Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Connect With Us on Twitter