Science & Technology

USU School of Veterinary Medicine Hosts Animals in Education Seminar

Intermountain Therapy Animals and volunteers working with children in their Reading Education Assistance Dogs program.

The Utah State University School of Veterinary Medicine is hosting a continuing education workshop, Opening Up a New Frontier: Human Animal Interactions in Education. The workshop is Saturday, Nov. 4, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Agricultural Science Building on USU’s Logan campus.

Aubrey H. Fine, professor in the College of Education and Integrative Studies at California State Polytechnic University, along with Intermountain Therapy Animals, will present the workshop that is open to professionals in veterinary medicine, psychology and social work for continuing education credits, and anyone with an interest in how animals can be used in education.

In addition to his academic work, Fine is a licensed psychologist who specializes in treating children with ADHD, learning disabilities, developmental disorders and parent/child relations. Fine is also the editor and contributor to How Animals Help Students Learn: Research and Practice for Educators and Mental-Health Professionals, a resource for professionals who are interested in incorporating animals in schools.

Intermountain Therapy Animals, an organization based in Salt Lake City developed the internationally known program, Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D). The goal of the R.E.A.D program is to help children improve reading and communication skills by reading to an animal. Animals in the program are registered therapy animals who volunteer with their owners to visit schools, libraries and other settings as reading companions for children.

Fine and representatives from Intermountain Therapy Animals will discuss the growing trend of animals joining educators and mental health professionals in education. Attendees will learn about the various roles animals can play, how they can be incorporated in school settings, the importance of welfare and care for all parties involved, and challenges that may occur as a result of having animals work in education programs.

Registration fees are $125 for professionals seeking continuing education credit and $25 for the non-credit option. Morning refreshments and lunch are provided.

Four continuing education credits are available from the Utah Psychological Association, The National Social Work Association’s Utah Chapter and the Utah Veterinary Medical Association.

To register for the workshop, visit

To learn more about Intermountain Therapy Animals and the R.E.A.D program, visit

Writer: Aubree Thomas,
Contact: Sherrie Petty,, 435-232-2659

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