November 14, 2019

Mental Health Win: Cornell Health Releases 40 Therapy Dogs into the Wild

CORNELL HEALTH—At a Friday morning launch event, representatives from Cornell Health’s Strategic Mental Health Task Force released dozens of trained therapy dogs to freely roam campus in an effort to reduce patient wait times.

“We hear a lot about folks not wanting to wait three months to meet with a mental health counselor,” explained task force chairwoman Natalie Caldrino, “so we thought playing to students’ hunter-gatherer instincts would be the next best alternative.” 

According to sources familiar with the matter, the dogs were initially supposed to be trackable via an app, but upon learning about the associated costs, Cornell Health instead opted to let the dogs go and hope for the best. 

“I suffer from severe anxiety and waiting around for a counselor to see me was getting pretty stale,” said Noah Pendor ’22 “But who needs a counselor when you can chase down a cold, frightened animal and force it to comfort you.” 

As of press time, there were no more dogs.

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