Virginia Tech grants honorary degree to therapy dog who’s helped thousands of students 

Virginia Tech/Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine

Virginia Tech granted an honorary doctorate to Moose, an 8-year-old therapy dog who has helped students in more than 7,500 counseling sessions.

Moose received an honorary doctorate in veterinary medicine and graduated during the 2020 virtual commencement.

His owner Trent Davis, a licensed counselor and coordinator of animal-assisted therapy at the school, said the pooch actually gets a diploma.

“I guess, a little caveat is that he is a dog,” Davis told ABC News. “He can’t actually apply for a job. Although, he would be a pretty good veterinarian.”

The pup came to Virginia Tech in 2014 and is one of four dogs who serve as therapy animals and ambassadors for mental health awareness at the Cook Counseling Center.

The good boy has made a “pawsitive” impact on campus, sitting in on thousands of counseling sessions to soothe students and has attended more than 500 outreach events, according to a press statement.

He was honored in 2019 with the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Hero Award.

“When not working, he enjoys swimming, playing tug of war, and perhaps most of all, eating,” the school said in a statement.

It has been a tough few months for the Labrador Retriever; Moose was diagnosed with prostate cancer just after his birthday in February.

He has began chemotherapy and radiation treatment at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. Moose temporarily moved in with and was being cared for by a Virginia Tech veterinary student.

He has since returned to work and has been given a positive prognosis. 

Tags honorary doctorate therapy dog Virginia Tech

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