WKU Animal Assisted Therapy dog passes away

WKU Therapy Dog Passes Away
Published: Feb. 14, 2022 at 6:17 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The WKU community is mourning the loss of a beloved member of their staff.

The Counseling Center staff at WKU announced Friday in a Facebook post, their Animal Assisted Therapy dog, Star, passed away.

Star experienced an auto immune disorder and her health declined rapidly. “We know that many of you knew her, and her presence on campus will be greatly missed,” WKU Counseling Center staff said in the Facebook post.

“Special Thank You to Betsy Pierce, for initially bringing the AAT (Animal Assisted Therapy) program idea to our Center (Spring 2015), exploring how to accomplish it, obtaining Star (and Hope before her), completing all the appropriate steps to train herself and Star, opening up her home to house her, bringing her to work each day, taking her to countless outreach events and classrooms, and helping to educate the university community about the AAT program. Your dedication and continued commitment has not gone unnoticed.

Additional Thank You to Elizabeth Madariaga, for taking the reins (or, more appropriately, the leash) from Betsy after she retired (and, at times, before she retired). You continued to care for and love Star, open up your home as well, and take her to outreach events over the years. Your dedication, as well, has not gone unnoticed.

Finally, Thank You to the current Counseling Center team – Julia, Karl, Katie, Masami, Mariya, Dane, & Jessica (as well as former staff and interns work worked with Star) for your love and care of Star, using her in therapy sessions when requested by clients, tend to her when she was working in the Center, and taking her to outreach events,” WKU Counseling Center staff said in the Facebook post.

WKU staff say Star connected with many students, faculty, and staff while working in the Counseling Center.

They are planning an appropriate way to celebrate her and her time with WKU later this spring.

If you would like to do something in her memory, WKU asks that you please consider donating to the Humane Society.

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