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 and is the first university sponsored Pet Therapy Programs in the state of Texas!
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. Many students say sentiments such as "I really needed this today", "This really helped me". You can see the worry and stress leave their faces as they interact with our therapy dog teams.
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.
Our future goals include:
1. Providing preparatory dog training for prospective handler teams to help ensure successful completion of the certification and evaluation process, and the program’s continued growth and development.
2. Develop leadership training and development for student volunteers who serve in the program, which coupled with service hours would result in a certificate and stipend for service.
3. Offering specialized training to a subset of handlers to offer pet therapy to the children of TWU students.
4. Hiring a full time employee to manage and sustain the program well into the future.
As a campus with a heart, TWU cares for students through our programs and services. We invite you to join our effort to make Pioneer Pet Therapy the ulti-mutt labor of love. 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.
Current TWU Pet Therapy Teams
Make a Paws-itive impact today!
A gift of $25 will cover the cost of a T-shirt or Backpack for one Pet Therapy Team
A gift of $50 pays for a Vest & Leash for one Pet Therapy Team
A gift of $100 pays for therapy dog certification and helps us get more therapy dogs on campus.
A gift of $250 will offset handler costs of a course or vet screening & required visit gear to get more therapy dogs on campus
A gift of $500 covers the full cost of certification, evaluation & registration of pet therapy team scholarship & required visit gear to get more certified therapy dogs on campus.