Canine Comfort

Training and learning with service dogs at Penn State

Roar for More is a State College student and community group that trains service dogs through Susquehanna Service Dogs (SSD).

Each litter of SSD puppies has a themed name, and many are trained by Roar for More. One of the puppies is Zola, short for gorgonzola. She came from a litter named after cheeses.

Zola was paired with a Penn State student Katie Brigger. The founder of Roar for More, Nancy Dreschel, saw the impact Zola had on Brigger, who was shy and rarely spoke up in class before being paired with Zola.

A few months after Brigger got Zola, Dreschel saw a whole new girl in the fall. “She walked down the aisle and sat in the front row with Zola and said, ‘Hi, Dr. Dreschel!’

“I just watched her blossom, it was just amazing,” Dreschel said.

Brigger’s story is an example of the lives touched at Roar for More, and there is a lot that goes into it.

The students take their puppies to training classes and participate in exchanges with other trainers and their dogs to ensure the SSDs are used to working with different people. Many of the student trainers at Roar for More run Instagram pages for the SSDs.

Some trainers may even have an option to stay in contact with their SSD’s future partner if it’s OK with them. If the dog doesn’t pass all the training, the trainer may have the option to adopt the dog.

More information about service dogs and details on how to become a puppy raiser can be found on this website.

~ 01.20.2023

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