Colleges with access to therapy dogs

My daughter mentioned that having therapy dogs on campus would be great. Our high school has a pack of 4 dogs who are there every day and she really enjoys having them. I’ve found some articles about dogs coming in a few times each semester or after certain events. But, she’d like some she could access more regularly. Anyone have a nifty list of colleges? She’s interested in engineering.

I do not know of a list, but Oregon State has a wellness dog and a good engineering program:


Purdue has therapy dogs. It’s a club called Pets for People for students in the vet school. My D often went for some pet therapy during exam time.

They also allow therapy animals in the dorms on a case by case basis. There was a girl in her dorm freshman year that had a therapy dog.

Also every spring they have “spring fest” where students can go to a “petting zoo” - my D sent me a picture of herself with a baby duckling and alpacas this year ; )


I think that many colleges allow ESAs and allow students to raise and train therapy dogs in the dorms, so I would imagine that one could easily befriend people with dogs on campus at many schools. Seems to me that one should make one’s college list based upon other criteria, and then check to see if the individual school doesn’t allow this (which I doubt would be the case at most schools).


W&L has a group that brings dogs to campus once per week for students to interact with.

They also allow ESA in student housing after a simple application is filed (and, I believe, a non refundable deposit is required).

Edit: only answering the question about the therapy dogs. I’m not suggesting W&L for engineering… I missed that. :smiley:


Good to know! Purdue is on her list already.

I’m sure she does not want to have her own dog in the dorm. But if she was friends with someone who had one, that would be great too.

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Sure she will look at other criteria as well, but there are so many places that fit at this point, narrowing it by dogs works too. We haven’t come across it mentioned and have started looking for it. The idea just came up when she realized how much she will miss seeing the dogs at school. I’m glad to hear they are not uncommon!


What a fun topic. I don’t know of a list either. Both of my kids’ schools have therapy dogs available to visit with students. I think probably most colleges do these days. Auburn has a trio of labs named Moose, Nessie and Rooster resident in the counseling center. They also have a program called Get Moving with Moose where students can go on a 3 mile walk around campus with the dogs. William & Mary has corgis visit the library weekly. They have recently added bunnies too. What I find amusing is that the breed of dog seems to fit the personalities of these two schools.:rofl:

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My DD’s college town had a shelter that DD visited often and walked dogs on the grounds. On Saturdays you could sign up for doggie dates in which you picked a dog to take off grounds (she had a car) so she would get one and take to a park and out for a pup cup.

ETA: Be warned, this resulted in one coming home with us lol.


Pitt has therapy dogs! They are at the Cathedral of Learning (Pitt’s historic and most well-known academic building) every Tuesday evening and at other locations on what appears to me to be a less regular basis. There seem to be about 15-20 dogs there on Tuesday evenings. Here is the IG profile:

There is also a club that raises service (not therapy) dogs. I am amazed at the responsibility that these kids are taking on! Your daughter wouldn’t have to personally raise a dog to be involved, though. Some club members act as sitters or dog walkers and don’t have to personally be raising a service dog to be involved:

My other daughter is at the University of Michigan and they don’t have a regular program. There will occasionally be dogs on campus — local moms will organize a “Dogs & Donuts in the Diag” during finals — but not in routine way like at Pitt. It’s something that students would love. I visited my daughter’s main EC with my non-therapy dog this semester. There were about 50 kids in the building and 40+ rushed to see, hold, pet, and generally love on our dog. In addition to the therapeutic aspect, kids generally miss their pets and enjoy that interaction!

My friend just had her own dog become a therapy dog and they are participating in programs similar to the one at Pitt. She routinely goes with other dogs to a couple of local campuses of schools that really don’t get mentioned on CC, but therapy dogs seem to be becoming more common on campuses.


Bradley University has therapy dogs and a program where students can be involved in training therapy dogs for service.


Virginia Tech has a great engineering program - and also has four therapy dogs, all Labrador retrievers. They just added the fourth, a young black lab named Epcot who is adorable. I believe they are on campus every day in the counseling center as well as other spots on campus. They have an active Instagram page so students can see what they are up to each day.

Here’s a video they put out regarding their therapy dog program - how it started and how helpful its been for students.

I’m involved in a local therapy dog program and our teams are invited to visit local colleges and high schools occasionally during midterms/finals week. We also visit hospitals, assisted living facilities, community events and are sometimes called to be at funeral homes.


Minnesota has it full time


There seemed to be therapy dogs at most of the schools my son considered. Some schools have goat yoga events (look it up if you haven’t heard of it). Agricultural schools have barns with all sorts of animals, and this was a big attraction for my animal-loving son!


In addition to the full-time wellness dog, OSU’s vet school also hosts an annual Pet Day: OSU Pet Day 2023 | Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine | Oregon State University


Check out Duke Puppy Kindergarten, where undergrad students (any major) can volunteer to help raise service animals and contribute to cognition research. Program was recently featured on 60 Minutes, here: Survival of the friendliest: How dogs evolved to be man’s best friend | 60 Minutes - YouTube (at about the 6:10 mark of the video).

General info on the program here: Puppy Kindergarten - Duke Stories and here: Duke Puppy Kindergarten | Department of Evolutionary Anthropology


The university of Delaware has a student program raising seeing eye dogs.

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I know that Tulane allows therapy dogs in the dorms, so making friends with a resident with a an emotional support dog is an option there.

According to this article, U. Conn, U. of Minnesota, Kent State (OH), and Miami (OH) have programs, and the article has brief descriptions and links to the programs.

Some other programs are at:

Rowan: Shreiber Family Pet Therapy Program at Rowan University

Penn appears to have occasional pet therapy offerings:

Oklahoma State has a pet therapy program: Pete's Pet Posse | Oklahoma State University

This article refers to a survey of 150 schools in 2017 that found that 62% of the schools had an animal-assisted intervention program. The abstract to the study, however, only mentions data from 68 schools, which raises some questions in my mind about what the data actually indicates, but I don’t feel inclined to pay $40 for access to the full PDF (perhaps others may have access via other means).


Syracuse University offers pet therapy: Pet Therapy – Barnes Center at The Arch - Syracuse University - Barnes Center at The Arch – Syracuse University.


Syracuse and Lehigh both do!