MSU Community provides therapy dogs in support of Spartans

Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 6:41 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - As the Spartan and Mid-Michigan community continues to mourn the three lives lost on Monday night, the outpouring of support has been incredible. And neighbors are hoping therapy dogs on campus will help those who are healing.

The healing process looks different for everyone and Roman wanted to help.

“I think it just gives us a way to be connected,” said Debra Maxwell, Canines for Change.

Roman isn’t your typical counselor. He’s 4.5 months old and brings a little bit of comfort to those dealing with the unimaginable.

“Just being here for them and the dogs, you can just see their comfort when they pet the dogs, it’s great,” said Maxwell.

Debra Maxwell is one of many helping to uplift the Michigan State Community. As part of Canines for Change, she brought Roman and his friend to greet those grieving at the MSU Rock.

“I know the kids definitely responded to it. you know they come over and it gets them talking,” said Maxwell.

“For some people, they just want to know that they’re in a safe place. they’re having physical touch with a dog. or they’re smiling because they’re seeing a dog,” said Suechitra Webster.

Suechitra Webster is the Director of Student and Community Relations at MSU. She’s helping to provide free resources like food and therapy dogs, at the Hannah Community Center, for those impacted by the tragic event.

“They may seem like they’re minor things but they’re really meaningful to people who are dealing with this tragedy and trying to get through it,” said Webster.

The community is offering anything that helps the community heal.

“People are gonna need different levels of support and I think everyone here stands at the ready to provide whatever they can,” said Webster.

Whether it’s time with a tail-wagging companion, or a listening ear, help that will make sure the community remains Spartan Strong.

Therapy dogs through Canines for Change have been on campus since Tuesday morning.

Debra Maxwell hopes all facilities will start providing dogs permanently.


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