Service Dogs in Training Meet with Physical Therapy Students

Christi Williams, associate professor in the School of Physical Therapy, and Amanda Stephens, physical therapist and 2020 alumna of the Belmont Doctorate of Physical Therapy program, created a special event for physical therapy students filled with puppy cuddles and kisses. 

Four future service dogs and their volunteer handlers met with the physical therapy students to provide some much-needed pet therapy while also providing the puppies with the necessary exposure to people, new places and adaptive equipment.  

The volunteers participate in a puppy raising program through Retrieving Independence, a local organization dedicated to training and placing service dogs with people to assist them. The puppies start training at a young age with their volunteer handlers as well as through a local prison training program before being placed with someone who has a disability who can benefit from the assistance of a canine companion.  

Students with puppies

To learn more about Retrieving Independence, and how to support this organization, visit their website: https://riservicedogs.org/