Puppies in the Park


Mo Carter

This past week, College Park students may have noticed a break in the routine beyond the STAAR testing. On Monday, April 4th, the Student Council organized a gift to help get students through the testing season. With the help of a local organization, students were able to interact with a variety of therapy dogs during their lunch blocks.


“Organizing this event took some time, finding the organization and dogs to help wasn’t easy,” senior Bethany Joseph said.


The Council wanted to make sure that both the volunteers and dogs were well trained in order to ensure the safety of the students. The last thing anyone wanted was for something to go wrong and for a student, or one of the furry friends, to get injured. Thankfully, the Student Council was able to find a qualified group that was willing to help relieve some of the test taking stress.


“The dogs were brought by the organization Therapy Pet Pals of Texas(TPPT),” senior Taylor Moore said.


This Austin based company travels beyond the Austin area and we’re brought in by the Student Council to hold this event.  Their website is full of testimonials just like this, as their volunteers go across the state to spread what comfort they can.


“Therapy Pet Pals of Texas’ pet therapy program gives happiness and companionship to everyone involved,” TPPT’s website says.


Founded in 1985, TPPT was inspired by experimental programs that were starting around the country. When founder Kathryn Lashmit read about these programs, she hoped to bring just a little bit of comfort to those living in assisted living. 


“No fee or service charge has ever been required for our Pet Pal program,” TPPT’s website says.


This organization started with a leap of faith, and it continues on the good will of donors and volunteers. Training of volunteers and living expenses of the pets are taken very seriously by the organization, and they are grateful to anyone willing to help support high quality experiences. Because of this, the College Park Student Council was able to organize this event with Therapy Pet Pals of Texas.


“We hope the students have a break from their normal school day and time to enjoy time outside with the dogs and their friends, hopefully relieving them of some stress,” Moore said.