It’s fur-real! A growing amount of scientific evidence suggests that pet therapy helps to improve total body health and quality of life for children and adults coping with a full range of health concerns. The TWU Pioneer Pet Therapy program began in the Fall of 2021 to enhance wellness and support for our TWU community.
In our short time on the Denton campus, we have seen paws-itive interactions! We work to bring joy and comfort to our students as they manage the stress of exams, time management, life changes, and other issues that can create anxiety. With the success and impact of the new Pioneer Pet Therapy program, we quickly recognized the need to offer additional pet therapy events and resources.
Our inaugural class of eight teams consists of full-time faculty and staff volunteers who have committed to serve in the program for a minimum of two years. All teams receive training with an evaluation component before they become certified therapy dogs and handlers with our affiliated partner Pet Partners. Our current programming consists of 60-75 minute group events for students. We also host at least one event each semester for faculty and staff to cultivate the community among animal lovers and to offer targeted programs to our more vulnerable student populations.
The TWU Pioneer Pet Therapy program has made incredible strides, and we hope to do more! Your gift can help offset a variety of costs including items needed for therapy visits, certification registration fees and specially branded pet items such as vests, collars and leashes.
Read more about the program and its director, Associate Vice President for Student Enrichment, Health, and Support, Stephanie Brown in the inaugural issue of the Texas Woman’s Magazine.
In honor of Bella Rose
Bella Rose joined the TWU Pioneer Pet Therapy program as the first pet to qualify for the inaugural team in August of 2021. Bella was always excited and happy to serve at student events.
In February of 2022, at the age of 13, Bella gained her doggie angel wings following a medical issue. She served the last part of her life giving all of her love to TWU students. Bella Would be so happy to know that the program is a success and growing.
Current TWU Pet Therapy Teams
Alex & Amanda Zerangue
Balto & Amy Allison
Student Health Services
Bonnie & Patricia Nolan
Zoli & Richard Shuster
Giselle & Amy Allison
Student Health Services
Scout & Monique LeMieux
Nutrition and Food Sciences
Lucy & Stephanie Brown
Zephyr & Michelle Flowers
Boomer & Amber Geldersma