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Animal Assisted Therapy Program

Research has shown that the benefits of spending time—even just five minutes—with a therapy dog is twofold: individuals exhibit both a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol and an increase in prolactin and oxytocin, the nurturing hormones. In addition, neurotransmitters that boost mood rise while blood pressure lowers.
Loyola Academy’s Animal Assisted Therapy Program began in 2011 with Mac, a big-hearted Bernese mountain dog with a gentle spirit, strong intuition and a knack for knowing when someone was in need. The program started as an afterschool outlet for students who reside far distances from Loyola. It gave students the chance to do their homework and relax with the dog before catching a bus for a long commute home.
In the years since its start, Loyola’s Animal Assisted Therapy Program has flourished and expanded. Mac passed the torch to his younger brother, Leahy (2013–2020), who spent seven wonderful years doing therapy at Loyola along with several other programs. Today, Teagan and Tipp carries on the program and continues to provide students with support, stress relief and popular "paws up" greetings. You can follow along and stay updated with our therapy dog program on Instagram. For more information, please contact School Counselor Selina McGuire at 847.920.2512 or

Loyola Academy

1100 Laramie Avenue, Wilmette, Illinois 60091-1089  |  847-256-1100
Loyola Academy admits students of any race, color and national origin or ethnic origin.
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