UNLV and Pet Partners of Las Vegas Celebrate Decade of Campus Dog Therapy

A happy student carrying a brown therapy dog in the library, like the therapy dogs with the Love Dog Adventures
(Photo Credit: Liderina | Getty Images)

Pet Partners of Las Vegas — a popular non-profit that registers therapy dogs and other animals for use on campuses across the United States — is celebrating ten years of partnership with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).

It’s now a decade since Pet Partners of Las Vegas — through its therapy program, Love Dog Adventures — began making appearances in UNLV libraries with therapy dogs to help boost the mental health and overall well-being of students.

UNLV and Love Dog Adventures have brought therapy dogs to campus for 10 years

About a decade ago, UNLV founded “Paws For A Study Break” in partnership with Pet Partners to help students deal with stress and anxiety. In doing so, students could achieve better academic outcomes, especially in their finals.

“The Libraries are really the heart of campus, especially here at UNLV, and one of our goals has been to create a sense of community for students,” Rosan Mitola, the university’s associate professor, told UNLV News Center. “Therapy dogs are a consistent way to draw students into our spaces and foster a sense of belonging and connectedness to the library,” she added.

Sue Grundfest, the founder of Pet Partners, brings therapy dogs to the campus regularly. Her Love Dog Adventures program has had a remarkable impact on the lives of students. One of her therapy dogs — a Shih Tzu mix named Charlie — has become a favorite among students in need of comfort and emotional safety.

“He’s found his purpose in helping people through our therapy program,” Grundfest stated while talking about Charlie, and added, “There are students now who always come in looking for Charlie.”

Each time Grundfest’s team and the Love Dogs visit UNLV, there’s always a long line of students waiting to receive cuddles or take selfies with the popular therapy dogs.

“The employees and the students at the library, they treat us like gold. There is joy and fun and camaraderie in the room, and we feel a part of the university experience,” Grundfest shared.

Besides therapy dogs, Pet Partners of Las Vegas also has rabbits, miniature horses, guinea pigs, cats, and birds as therapy animals.

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