Dogs offer emotional support for U.P. Diliman students, staff
MANILA, Philippines – The University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman on Tuesday, February 12, announced a new program allowing students and university staff to interact with dogs around the campus in times of stress.
UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan introduced the campus' first emotional "support dogs," Cotton and Tisay, at the Quezon Hall, saying that the two can help in relieving emotional pressures.
In a post on Utak at Pusa's Facebook page, the dogs were described as vaccinated, neutered, and friendly. (READ: Pets for mental wellness: How dogs play a role in healing, therapy)
Cotton, according to the post, is a Labrador and Asong Pinoy (AsPin) mix living at the College of Mass Communication, while Tisay is a Brown AsPin mix living at the Quezon Hall.
Animal welfare group Friends of Campus Animals-UP (FOCA-UP) said that the program will be implemented under the Chancellor's office, and that their organization will help in raising awareness on campus management of animals.
Using dogs for emotional support is not new. The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in an article said dogs are considered as a powerful tool to help people's healing process. (READ: How does the PH fare in mental health care?)
PAWS in the same article said that the presence of dogs also helps change attitudes and raise awareness on animal welfare.
In 1997, PAWS' project featuring "Dr Dogs" became popular and brought joy to orphanages, cancer wards, and retirement homes for nuns. – Rappler.com