There are to be changes to the beloved 4 Paws program on campus. But don’t worry; these changes don’t involve taking away the golden bundles of joy that sit in class. However, there are additional opportunities available for students who choose not to participate in the traditional semester long program.
Currently, there are two different programs going on within the 4 Paws program. One is the normal semester-long fostering that everyone knows and loves with training the young puppies.
The second program is the evening and weekend fostering program. This is with dogs that are currently going through advanced training classes. The dogs are older and have their classes with the professional trainers at 4 Paws Monday through Friday during the day. Wittenberg students who are fostering these dogs drop them off at the Student Center every morning at 7:45 a.m., and a big white
4 Paws van comes and picks up these dogs, transporting them to a 4 Paws facility in Xenia.
Currently, they have seven dogs, but this number is expected to increase with time. After being picked up, the dogs go to 4 Paws during the day and attend their own classes. Then, at 5 p.m., they are dropped back off at Wittenberg. The student fosters pick the dogs up and keep them for the evening. The dogs do not have class on Saturday or Sunday, so they also spend this time with their Wittenberg fosters.
Alyssa Lane, ‘17, and Jamie Pence, ‘17, that work with the 4 Paws program shared their excitement about the new program.
“We are so excited to be starting this program because it helps them with the amount of dogs they have in their facility to care for. It also helps the dogs get out of the building and have more meaningful interaction with people. Administrators at Wittenberg were great in helping us organize this new opportunity,” Lane said.
However, one stipulation with the new advanced training dogs is that they are not allowed to attend classes with Wittenberg students or go into any of our campus buildings. This is in order to not overwhelm the student population with a large amount of dogs on campus.
Some might worry that this may be a concern of people wanting to get involved, but it is okay for the dogs to be in their kennel at any point during the day or evening; in fact, part of their training to become a service dog is to be sure that they are kennel trained.
The new additional training with the 4 Paws program is still a work in progress. However, administrators are excited to have this program growing on campus.
“These animals truly change lives, and we are thrilled to play a large role in their training process,” Lane said.