Salem College is offering a weekly event on campus for the 2017-2018 academic year. Maureen and Dave Minns, Tamara Macy, and Janice Beane make up a group of volunteers who will be bringing therapy dogs to campus to offer companionship and comfort to Salem students. The volunteers are trained and certified by Love on a Leash, a national organization for training therapy dogs.
Maureen Minns told the Salemite the qualities desired in the therapy dogs: “We look for dogs that are loving and calm. It’s important that they are calm since their purpose is to provide comfort.”
The volunteers rotate between 6 different dogs during their visits. Annie, an Australian Shepherd mix, is owned by Macy. Ziva, a Border Collie, is owned by Beane. Evie, an Akita, Koda, a Lab mix, and Neo and Ivy, both pitbulls, are all owned by Maureen and Dave Minns. The group also volunteers at nursing homes, hospice centers, and the SECU House.
Minns emphasized how much the group appreciates the support of Salem students. “We enjoy bringing the dogs to Salem. The girls love the dogs and tell us that we make their day. The dogs remember the students and form a bond with them.”
The dogs will be in the lower level of the Student Center every Tuesday for the rest of the year from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Although the hours are set each week, Minns says, “If someone is in need, we will stay longer. That is what the dogs are there for, to comfort the girls. We’ll stay if someone needs us.”