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March/April 2014
College life can be full of ups and downs. The excitement of new
adventures packed with the stress of exams and loneliness of missing
home. But at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, four-legged
ambassadors are saving the day one student at a time.
These rescue rovers are members of the University’s new pet
therapy program called Pete’s Pet Posse, named after OSU’s infamous
cowboy mascot Pistol Pete, of course. The goal of the program is to
positively enhance physical and emotional health throughout
the campus and is spearheaded by the University’s First Cowgirl,
Ann Hargis.
“At OSU, wellness is a big priority, and we have very robust
programs in physical activity and nutrition,” explainsAnn. “Pete's Pet
Posse is part of an increased wellness focus on the emotional health
of our campus population.”
OSU’s President Burns Hargis and his wife Ann are true animal
lovers. So it made sense whenAnn invited a famous therapy dog, Rossi
the Approval Poodle, for a campus visit last year. Droves of students
lined up to visit with Rossi.
The response was so positive that Ann decided to explore a pet
therapy program at OSU. Oklahoma State University is known for its
outstanding veterinary school, so the program seemed like a natural
fit. After extensive planning, the program began to take shape, and
today the University has accepted eight pups into the posse.
“I have already seen these animals make a difference on campus,”
says Ann. “The way the dogs interact with students, faculty and staff
leaves everyone with a smile.”
s Pet Posse
is bringing health
to the OSU campus
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