Dog Therapy Comes to Gannon University’s Recreation and Wellness Center
Posted: January 17, 2018
Call it therapy of the furry, four-legged variety.
Gannon University's Recreation and Wellness Center is partnering
with local organizations to bring dog therapy to campus on the
second Wednesday of every month starting January 17. This month's
event, from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Recreation and Wellness Center, is
free and open to the Gannon community.
Therapy animals have a proven positive effect on emotional and
mental wellbeing, said Laura Casella, interim director of the
Recreation and Wellness Center. Spending time with them can be
particularly helpful for stressed or anxious students facing the
academic rigors of college, she said.
The simple act of petting a dog "lowers blood pressure naturally
and it's making our students feel at home," said Casella, whose two
flat-coated retrievers, Bella and Benny, are part of the
"Our job is to make students want to stay, to feel comfortable,
to be enriched, to be engaged," she said. "That's the whole mission
behind this program."
The Recreation and Wellness Center works with several local
organizations, including Therapy Dogs United, to bring the dogs to
"It fits into our mission of wellness. Wellness doesn't mean
you're just physically fit," she said. "It means you're
psychologically happy as well."
Dogs make great therapists, Casella said.
"Dogs are accepting no matter who you are," she said. "They
don't see the differences in people. The dogs that come in are very
welcoming. They're happy to be here. They're happy to see the
students. The tail's wagging and you see our students giggling and
The Wellness and Recreation Center will host dogs again on
Wednesday, March 14, from 5 to 6 p.m.