For fundraiser, therapy dogs visit medical campus

India Jones
Contributing Writer

The VCU Center for Human-Animal Interaction hosted Pups on the Plaza yesterday, an event where therapy dogs greeted passersby on the medical campus.

The event was a fundraiser for the Dogs on Call program in CHAI to further support research in the program, said Dr. Sandra Barker, director of CHAI. Barker said more than 750 people attended yesterday’s event, which raised about $2,500 for the CHAI.

“Since we rely primarily on donations to fund all of our activities, we are very grateful to everyone who came out to support The Center and Dogs On Call,” she said.

CHAI focuses on raising awareness on the benefits of human interaction and fostering support for animal visitation in hospitals.

The pets in Dogs on Call must go through a rigorous evaluation, which includes basic training, aggression testing, and behavior around other dogs.

CHAI works in ongoing and many completed research studies, including the effects of human interaction on patients before being administered therapy, or the study of stress levels in employees who bring their dogs to work.

Last spring CHAI and the Dogs on Call program greeted more than 1,000 students on the Monroe Park campus to help them de-stress during finals week.

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