PAWSS is a not-for-profit Animal Therapy program that offers structured and purposeful animal assisted interactions (AAI) at MacEwan University and associated educational institutions. We are the only Canadian University that has created, developed and implemented three distinct animal therapy programs aimed at supporting staff, faculty and student mental health and wellness.

Students of all ages experience a variety of stressors and it can be hard to be successful if stress and anxiety is perceived as negative and not managed. The types of stressors students experience may include academics, friendships and relationships, financial, social, employment and mental health and wellness. All student programming at MacEwan and associated educational institutions is aimed at enhancing student success.

PAWSS animals participate in the following programs. (1) Scheduled weekly Drop In PAWSS programming allow students, staff, and community members to interact with handler teams (PAWSS animal and their handler), (2) PAWSS pop-up program sees handler teams attending activities across campus (3) PAWSS in the Classroom program sees the course professor bringing their certified animal into the classroom environment and is designed to decrease student stress, anxiety and enhance student focus and learning and (3) PAWSS in the Workplace program sees staff or faculty members attending work with their certified animal, and is designed to decrease faculty, staff, and student stress and anxiety and enhance individual wellness.

PAWSS provides a service component to MacEwan University as well as a scholarly component.

While the PAWSS program began at MacEwan University, we recognize the need for therapy animals and AAI within the greater educational community and have partnered with Edmonton Public Schools to support PAWSS programming at the following schools:

Edmonton Public Schools:

Vimy Ridge Academy (Daily PAWSS drop-in/PAWSS in the workplace)

Lillian Osborne High School (Weekly PAWSS drop-in)

J. Percy Page High School (PAWSS in the classroom (ISP program)/PAWSS in the workplace)

Grosvenor Elementary (PAWSS in the classroom/PAWSS in the workplace)

Kameyosek Elementary School (PAWSS weekly read-in program)

Post-Secondary Institutions:

NAIT@NAITSA (PAWSS drop-in/PAWSS in the workplace)

Norquest College (PAWSS in the classroom/PAWSS drop-in/PAWSS in the workplace) (Fall 2020)

PAWSS Animals in Action!

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