Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences

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OSU-CHS News > 2016

Aug. 5, 2016

OSU pet therapy program to graduate second class to serve Tulsa campuses

(Clockwise from top left) Blue, Fern, Max, Max and Tahlula are the second class of Pete's Pet Posse Tulsa. (Clockwise from top left) Blue, Fern, Max, Max and Tahlula are the second class of Pete's Pet Posse Tulsa.

Pete’s Pet Posse Tulsa, Oklahoma State University’s pet therapy program at OSU-CHS and OSU-Tulsa, will celebrate the graduation of its second class on Monday. The P3T ‘Barkalaureate’ will take place at 3 p.m. in Founders Hall at OSU-CHS, 1111 W. 17th Street. 

The dogs were selected from a pool of applicants and completed eight weeks of training, Canine Good Citizen certification and registration with Alliance of Therapy Dogs, Inc.  The graduates are:

  • Max, a three-year-old Labrador retriever, and handlers Dr. Bill Meek, OSU-CHS professor of anatomy and cell biology, and Sharon Meek
  • Tahlula, a five-year-old Chihuahua, and handler Marnie Pettit, wife of OSU-CHS Provost Dr. William J. Pettit
  • Max, a nine-year-old Maltese, and handler Ashley Adkins, OSU-CHS director of university affairs
  • Blue, a five-year-old Australian shepherd, and handler, Jessica Bradley, OSU-Tulsa career services coordinator
  • Fern, a three-year-old Labrador retriever, and handler Dr. Matt Bowler, OSU-Tulsa associate professor of management and Don R. Brattain professor in the Spears School of Business

Also joining Pete’s Pet Posse on Monday is local canine celebrity Mavis Pearl, an English bulldog known for her broad smile and the brightly colored tutus she wears to visit hospitals, shelters and other agencies. She will be named an honorary member of Pete’s Pet Posse in recognition of her work as goodwill ambassador for local nonprofit Joy in the Cause, an organization dedicated to showing individuals in crisis care and compassion through personal acts of kindness.

"Mavis Pearl and I are honored to be recognized as an honorary pet therapy team for Pete’s Pet Posse. Joy in the Cause and Pete’s Pete Posse both focus on bringing joy to others and we are excited to partner with OSU to bring even more joy to campus," said Lisa Bain, founder of Joy In the Cause and Mavis’s owner.

Pete's Pet Posse was established as a wellness program at OSU in Stillwater in 2013 and is the vision of OSU First Lady, Ann Hargis. Through a cooperative effort of the President's Office, OSU College of Veterinary Medicine,  OSU Veterinary Medical Hospital, University Counseling, Human Resources, and the Employee Assistance Program, the program has experienced much success and expanded to include OSU-Tulsa and the OSU Center for Health Sciences in 2015. Visit thePete's Pet Posse Tulsa website for more information.

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