The purpose of the Professor Paws Project is to expand clinician knowledge and promote community awareness about service dogs through the utilization of a full-time facility dog at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa (OU-Tulsa). Oftentimes, health care professionals, students, and potential service dog users do not understand the benefits of service dogs. The lack of knowledge can lead to underutilization of service dogs and create barriers for people who benefit from the use of service dogs. The Professor Paws Project addresses these issues by providing interactive hands-on learning experiences for students, health care professionals, and the community about the benefits of service dogs.
OU-Tulsa College of Allied Health offers both an occupational and physical therapy degree program. Because service dogs are often a valuable step in the recovery of the patients these students serve, supporting the utilization of service dogs during their college program is an enriching and valuable learning experience.
Additionally, the Professor Paws Project works toward educating the community about the benefits of and laws surrounding service dog partnerships.