Skyla, a 2-year-old rescue dog and the most recent addition to the Berkeley College Office of Military and Veterans Affairs (OMVA), appeared on the FiOS1 News New Jersey program “Push Pause” on July 25, 2017.
Since January, Skyla has been training as an emotional support animal to assist veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and/or panic attacks as a result of their experiences while in military service. “Push Pause” followed Skyla while she interacted with students and associates at Berkeley College in Woodland Park, NJ, and provided an in-depth look behind her training.
“Modern research is showing that dogs themselves, because they can detect human beings’ emotions, can be trained to help veterans and other people with emotional disorders,” said Richard Robitaille, EdD, Associate Vice President, OMVA. “It’s an 8-to 12-month process to get a dog to that level, but once she is trained she will be totally keyed in on helping people with their emotional issues.”
Click here to watch Skyla and the OMVA’s appearance on “Push Pause” in its entirety.
Skyla works with a professional dog trainer who specializes in the training and development of service dogs. Tami Pichardo, Senior Director, OMVA, adopted Skyla and acts as her primary handler.
Once fully trained, Skyla will participate in OMVA programs and activities, and will spend time with student-veterans at Berkeley College and in the community. More than 550 student-veterans are enrolled at Berkeley College.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. They are not “pets” or “mascots,” but considered assistive aids equal under the law to a wheelchair or other device that assists a disabled person.
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A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls more than 8,000 students – including more than 550 international students – in its Master’s, Bachelor’s and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields. Berkeley College is comprised of the Larry L. Luing School of Business®, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies, and the School of Liberal Arts. The School of Graduate Studies offers an MBA in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ.
Berkeley College has five New Jersey campuses – Dover, Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. In New York there are three campuses – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. For four consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans. The website address is www.BerkeleyCollege.edu.
Photo Caption: Skyla, a 2-year-old rescue dog and the most recent addition to the Berkeley College Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, comforts a student-veteran enrolled at Berkeley College. “Push Pause,” a program on FiOS1 News New Jersey, aired a story on July 25, 2017, about Skyla’s training as an emotional support animal to assist veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and/or panic attacks as a result of their experiences while in military service.