Comfort Dog - Trauma-Informed Care

$25,750 of $30,000 goal
85% Complete

Compassion Leaderboard


Freddy may be our university mascot, but you spend one day on campus, and you soon discover who the real mascots of CUW are – our beloved furry, four-legged friends, Zoey and Sage.

In 2012, Concordia University Wisconsin set out to establish the first of its kind, Comfort Dog Ministry program.  In January 2014, Zoey was first introduced to the Concordia community and unleashed a whole new world of possibilities for our students. 

After a very successful fundraiser in 2018, Concordia's second Comfort Dog, Sage was added to the pack. CUW was possibly the first college in the nation to employ a full-time, certified Comfort Dog on campus and it remains one of the only colleges or universities to integrate its working dogs into academic programming and student life offerings to the degree that it does.

Both Zoey and Sage have exceeded expectations by enhancing the emotional climate of our campus, building community, working in classrooms, community outreach, deploying to national crises or tragedies and assisting some of our OT and PT students in learning Animal Assisted Therapy for their treatment of patients.

Zoey will be retiring in the summer of 2021. She will be eight years old in November and typically, seven years of fulltime service is a comfort dog’s capacity. 

The need for these comfort dogs (especially in these times) is more apparent than ever. Compassion and the ability to provide trauma-informed care has never been more in demand – especially in schools and in the community. 

To meet this increasing demand, CUW is adding a four course, 12 credit, Compassion Care Concentration to the School of Education (SOE) and Athletic Training curriculum. Read more about the program here.

We are once again asking for the support of our Concordia community to reach our goal of $30,000 to purchase a new Comfort Dog that’s main focus will be to prepare our teachers in trauma-informed care.  

Our Comfort Dogs have become a part of the Concordia culture and have proven to enhance the student experience, serve as a calming presence to students, faculty, and staff, give our students unique and sought after skills to future employers, and connect those in need with the dog’s handlers—Concordia students—who can then minister and reach out with Christian care.

Your support in this program is greatly ap-PAW-ciated! 

Want too see what they've been up to? Visit Zoey and Sage's Facebook pages!  


If you prefer to pay with a check, please send to: 

Office of Advancement
12800 North Lake Shore Drive
Mequon, WI 53097

Check payable to: CUW Foundation
“comfort dog” in memo line