By Lainie Mazzullo WSU
- A 3-year-old rescue dog, Riley, is being certified as a therapy dog.
- She’ll be used to help ease anxiety and stress for veteran and military students.
- Riley spends most of the day in WSU’s Military and Veteran Student Center.
For the past six months, students in Wichita State’s Military and Veteran Student Center in Lindquist Hall have been falling in love with Riley, a Rhodesian Ridgeback / lab rescue dog adopted by center director Sarah Sell.
Riley is being trained as a therapy dog and will complete certification next spring.
The goal, Sell says, is to use 3-year-old Riley to help relieve anxiety and stress among veteran and active-duty military students.
“Even petting a dog can lower your heart rate and blood pressure and give you a moment of peace,” Sell says. “That’s really important for our students who are coming in before a test or after a test that didn’t go so well. Having that experience to cuddle or bond with an animal is really helpful.”