Montclair State University students meet Pebbles, the school’s new therapy ‘pup-scot’

Pebbles is a miniature Labradoodle – one of the best breeds for therapy dogs, according to school officials.

Matt Trapani

Apr 6, 2023, 12:30 PM

Updated 471 days ago

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Montclair State University may already have a mascot named Rocky the Red Hawk. But the school just got another one.
Students were introduced Tuesday to Pebbles the “pup-scot.”
“She’s being trained as a regular puppy right now. But then eventually she’ll be a therapy dog,” says Dr. Dawn Meza Soufleris, vice president for Student Development and Campus Life.
Soufleris says that the students chose Pebbles’s name.
“Our mascot Rocky the Red Hawk – Pebbles is a pup-scot for Rocky, so Pebbles is a chip off of Rocky,” Soufleris says.
Pebbles is a miniature Labradoodle – one of the best breeds for therapy dogs, according to Soufleris.
“She'll be assessed and have to go through a level of classes and be certified but we're feeling very confident that Pebbles will qualify and be our campus therapy dog,” Soufleris says.
Soufleris says that there is a natural reaction of an increase in dopamine and serotonin when people hold dogs.
“We know that mental health is a significant issue on all college campuses in the United States. We've seen it here with our students with depression and anxiety and so we know that having Pebbles here is just one of the many things that we're doing to have students feel better, feel strong, be able to succeed, and feel like they belong here,” Soufleris says.


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