The University of Iowa has welcomed its first therapy animal to the Student Care and Assistance team. Wilkie is a one year old Whoodle­—a Wheaten Terrier/Poodle mix. Wilkie and his handler, Student Care Coordinator Elley Mohling, are fully trained and ready to begin meeting students.

Drop-in hours, Fall 2024

Wilkie's drop-in hours are Wednesdays from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. starting February 28. Stop by room 135 IMU and get some Wilkie time. 

How can I make an appointment with Wilkie?

Wilkie's primary responsibility is to provide one-on-one support for students using the services of Student Care and Assistance, specifically those navigating mental health crises. His role is an extension of the student care coordinator to provide oversight and response to mental health concerns and manage follow-up care in partnership with community and campus resources, including students who utilize the University of Iowa Support and Crisis Line and request additional follow up and support.

How can I schedule Wilkie to attend an event?

Requests for events during the fall 2023 semester can be sent to Requests must include date, time, and location of event, as well as a basic description. These requests must be sent at least 30 days in advance, and will be processed by Wilkie’s handler, Elley, the Division of Student Life, and Campus Safety. 

Wilkie’s training

Wilkie and Elley have earned the following certifications through the American Kennel Club (AKC):


The team also earned its Pet Partners therapy animal certificate by completing a handler’s course and a team evaluation.

What is a therapy animal?

Therapy animals help with physical, social, emotional, or cognitive functioning. The animals are exemplary in terms of behavior, tolerance, and acceptance, and are specifically trained to provide affection and comfort. The sole purpose of therapy animals is to improve the lives of those they interact with. They differ from service animals and emotional support animals, which aid people with disabilities by performing tasks and work only with their owners.