UK Student’s Service Dog Project Impacts Campus and Community

By | October 9, 2019


Logan Bright and her service dog Deju seem
to be a pretty common sight around campus these days. That’s because Deja is part of the “4 Paws
For Ability” program this graduating senior brought to UK for one reason. SOT “I wanted to show students community service
can be fun.” Current students sign up to care for and train
the dogsÉ NAT “Good girlÉ” So that ultimately these animals will become
service dogs for children who need their assistance. SOT “Each semester the more dogs we get the
more dogs that are placed with children with disabilities in the end, so it’s really a
great thing that UK has really embraced it and weÕve been able to take these dogs in
on campus.” Students say they also benefit from taking
on the extra work. SOT (Katie Beaven): “It’s just made me a lot
more responsible having to take care of him all the time, it’s a lot of work.” SOT (Bright): “Taking on a dog is an enormous
task for any college student, cleaning them, bathing them, we ask those trainers to be
able to take them to most places that they go to, they are required to fill out socialization
reports about where they go, how the dog does.” All that time seems to lead to a deep attachment
between the dogs and students. NAT “He’s adorableÉ” But there’s another unexpected benefit, according
to Resident Assistants Cameron Tucker and Caitlin Snyder, who together train Mellow
in Blanding 4. SOT (Cameron Tucker) “The residents talk about
oh, I miss my dog, I miss my dog, every time I go home, then they see Mellow in the hallway,
so that’s all we hear about, how much it makes them feel like a family in the residence hall.” SOT (Caitlin Snyder) “I’ve noticed we have
a lot of people who come in the dorms and they are the kind of people who come in the
lobby and don’t stop and talk to anybody, but ever since we got Mellow, we have residents
who will stop and play with her and talk to us, and it’s been able to create great bonds
and great friendships and get people to open up.” But the real winners, according to Bright,
are the children they’re helping. SOT (Bright) “It just makes my day to see
a dog out helping a childÉit’s amazing to see how much they can really impact their
lives.” That’s why this early education major says
the lessons she’s learned leading this cause will stick with her long after graduation. SOT (Bright): “There’s only so much you can
learn in the classroom and with the service dog program there’s just so many different
things you can take away from it, you learn how helping out in the community and being
a part of an organization like this can benefit people out in the community so much.” A community these students and dogs will impact
long after graduation. For UK Now I’m Amy Jones. #####

2 thoughts on “UK Student’s Service Dog Project Impacts Campus and Community

  1. Teal'c Post author

    OHHHHHH, I thought this was in the United Kingdom. I was like "why do they all sound american". LMAO!!

    Reply
  2. Marsha Ensor Post author

    So cute! One of the graduates had one of the dogs at the commencement ceremony. The UK president shook his hand when his trainer walked. Highlight of the ceremony! This and when the physics professor couldn't hood his graduating Ph.D. students!

    Reply

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