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Service Dogs Training and Working at LVC
11.14.12 |
Dogs are lovable. They are also attentive, loyal, and energetic, and this combination makes them perfect companions for their humans that have special needs. Two types of service dogs are currently being trained on the Lebanon Valley College campus, and their presence has been noticed by students.

The first type being trained at LVC is for therapy. A number of students have gained approval from the Residential Life office to keep dogs on campus. These dogs can go anywhere their owners can go, including classrooms, dorms, and the dining hall.

Recently, Nicole Snyder ’13 and Allison Korns ’14 were featured on CBS 21 in Harrisburg for their participation with Keystone Pet Enhanced Therapy Services (KPETS) – an organization that sends dogs to hospitals, nursing homes, and schools to work with “people with physical, emotional, and mental challenges.”

Click here to view the CBS 21 interview with Nicole Snyder and Allison Korns and meet their dogs “Linus” and “Daisy”


Another type of training taking place on campus is service training for various disabilities. Deb Bishop, LVC’s administrative assistant for student activities and multicultural affairs, is training a Black Labrador named “Xyla” for The Seeing Eye Inc. The video linked below introduces Xyla, while Bishop explains some of the training involved in readying Xyla for her assignment.

There are many differences in the types of programs in which the dogs are participating. Key among them is that Snyder and Korns own their dogs and will visit institutions with them. Bishop is training a dog that does not belong to her and must adhere to all of The Seeing Eye’s regulations.

With so much activity and diversity on a college campus, it becomes the perfect place to train both therapy and service dogs, says Bishop. It is the environment in which “Emmy,” a Golden Doodle belonging to Diana Hoffman ’16, works. Hoffman has epilepsy, and her dog is trained to react to signs of an oncoming seizure associated with her condition.

Hoffman can testify to the importance of a well-trained and well-acclimated dog. Her first dog was a Golden Labrador who became anxious in public and did not pick up on her seizures.

As a working service dog, Emmy is not allowed to be petted by anyone outside of Hoffman’s family and close social circle. She says she understands the desire for people to come up and meet Emmy, but it is a rule that she has to follow.


Click here to meet Xyla and Emmy and hear from Deb Bishop and Diana Hoffman

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