University now allowing service dogs in training to live on campus
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The University of Central Florida is the first state university in Florida to allow service dogs in training to live in the dorms.
Now, UCF's first four-legged resident is about to graduate from the program.
Morgan Bell was the first student on UCF's campus to have a service-dog in training live with her in the dorm.
"It started with 'Hey look. I can have a dog on campus. And then when I got the dog and started meeting people, it turned into 'Wow, these dogs are really doing something. They really help these people,'" Bell said.
Bell was the first but certainly not the last.
Roommates Kayla McCauley and Jennifer Markowitz are just a few months into their puppy raising mission.
"It's pretty great. Especially like after tests we will come to each other and be like 'OK. I need Allin snuggle time. It kind of helps relax us.'"
The puppies will stay with their "puppy raisers" for about a year and a half where they will learn all the basic commands.
Ashton Roberts, an instructor for the organization, professionally trains the pups once they're done with their basic training.
"The students do a great job teaching the basic commands. As well as when the dogs go to class. It helps set the dogs up for success if they end up going to someone who is in a working environment," Roberts said.
The girls tell me there have been challenges.
Balancing school work and a social life they say is preyty much nonexistent.
But they tell me the rewards far outweigh the obstacles.
"We were roommates last year. We both saw it. We were like 'There's puppies." I fell in love with their mission and I wanted to help change someone's life," McCauley said.