Pet Away Worry & Stress (PAWS)

Pet Away Worry & Stress (PAWS)

Binghamton University’s Pet Away Worry & Stress (PAWS) program provides students, faculty and staff, Animal-Assisted Interactions (AAI) with registered therapy dogs. Started by Health Promotion and Prevention Services (HPPS) in fall 2022, the PAWS program promotes a culture of social connectedness and encourages campus community members to seek out healthy outlets for stress reduction.

If you have any questions, contact the program coordinator at hpps@binghamton.edu.

How do I become a PAWS program volunteer?

If you are interested in having your registered therapy dog participate in the PAWS program, please read the information below carefully and complete the Volunteer Application Form

Schedule

The PAWS program schedule for fall 2022 is still being determined. Check back in August for updates regarding the schedule of PAWS sessions.

Program FAQ's

How do I become a PAWS program volunteer?

Handlers must complete the steps outlined below prior to beginning any volunteer service.

  1. Complete the Volunteer Application Form. Your application and availability will be reviewed by the program coordinator and, if it is a fit, you and your canine will be asked to come to campus for an on-boarding visit.
  2. Come to Campus for an onboarding visit.
  • At the meeting the program coordinator will evaluate the canine’s temperament, review the University’s standards of behavior, coordinate scheduling, and go over any additional details about the program.
  • If not already submitted, copies of the canine’s therapy dog certification, and current vaccinations (Rabies and DHPP – Distemper and Parvo) must be brought to the meeting.
  • Documents may also be emailed in advance to Linda Reynolds at lreynold@binghamton.edu.

What are the handler requirements for participating in the PAWS program?

Handler’s must be at least 18 years of age. Please note: Binghamton University is a drug-free and smoke-free campus.

What are the canine requirements for participating in the PAWS program?

Canines must be certified as “pet therapy animals” by a local or national agency (i.e. Pet Partners, Therapy Dogs International, Alliance of Therapy Dogs, etc.). In addition, canines must be up-to-date on their rabies and DHPP vaccines.

What is the minimum volunteer/handler commitment?

At least one 2-hour visitation every other week during the academic semester. The canine’s schedule is to be agreed upon by the handler and the program coordinator prior to any visits to campus. In addition to regularly scheduled “office hours,” special appearance requests for University events will be coordinated on a case-by-case basis.

Where do PAWS visits take place on campus?

In addition to the designated space within Health Promotion and Prevention Services, canine visits may be conducted outside, in the library, residential halls, the University Union, etc. Handler’s will be notified of visit locations prior to their arrival on campus.

Does my canine need to wear an ID badge or uniform while on campus?

We strongly encourage canines to wear the Binghamton University PAWS bandana that will be issued upon acceptance into the program. Handler’s will also be provided an ID badge to wear when on campus.

Do I need to bathe my canine prior to my volunteer visit?

We strongly encourage handlers to bath their canines within 48 hours prior to each campus visit to ensure the canines are free from fleas and ticks.

Does my canine need to be kept on a leash?

Canines must be kept on a 4-foot or 6-foot leash, under the handler’s control, at all times while on campus. The only exception to this policy is when canines are secured within a designated PAWS program space, and wtih approval from the program coordinator.

What happens if my canine urinates or defecates while on campus property?

Handler’s are responsible for picking up after their canines if they defecate outside. If the canine accidentally urinates or defecates inside, immediately notify the HPPS staff member on duty.

Questions?

Contact the program coordinator at hpps@binghamton.edu.