An eight-year-old therapy dog who has helped over 5,000 students and taken part in “countless” hours of outreach has received an honorary degree for his years of service.
The Labrador called Moose has worked as a therapy dog at Virginia Tech University’s Cook Counseling Center providing comfort and affection to those in need since 2014.
The yellow retriever was granted his ‘Doctor of Veterinary Medicine’ degree by the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine which is operated by Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland at College park during a virtual commencement ceremony that took place on Friday May 15.
The online graduation ceremony comes amid the coronavirus lock-down where universities across the world have taken robust measures to keep their students and staff safe while still continuing necessary classes and meetings.
According to Virginia Tech, Moose was born and raised at Guiding Eyes for the Blind in New York but after being diagnosed with a “minor medical condition” during his formal training he was released and adopted by his current owner, Trent Davis – a licensed counsellor.
Mr Davis told ABC news during an interview that dogs provided a “source of comfort and grounding”.
He added: “For a lot of humans, unfortunately, other humans haven’t always been the best to them in their lives, so dogs can be a little bit safer.”
Moose was also named Virginia Veterinary Medical Association’s 2019 animal hero for his “devoted” service and his passion towards mental health.