ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The University of Central Florida is the first university in the state to allow service dogs in training to live on campus with students. Morgan Bell is a sophomore at UCF studying to be an actuary, and at the same time, volunteering to train a 3-and-a-half-month-old puppy named Robin. The pair go everywhere together on campus.
"It's really weird, because my mom is like, 'You've never been into volunteering. It isn't your thing. How did you do this? Why are you getting into this thing?' and I couldn't explain it. I just knew it was something I needed to be a part of it!" So when UCF Campus Housing put out an email to students looking for volunteers to take part in the school's new partnership with the non-profit Canine Companions for Independence, Morgan decided to inquire.
Kait McConomy, an Area Coordinator for Campus Housing, said, "They decided on Morgan, because they thought she was very independent, has a great personality, very dedicated, she took the process very seriously."
Canine Companions for Independence trains dogs from birth to serve folks who need help because of physical or mental challenges. Morgan takes classes herself and will train Robin for the next 13 to 16 months. Then, hopefully Robin will be paired with a partner in need.
"She can be a service dog, a companion, or hearing dog. I just really want her to move in and get through training and be paired up," Morgan said. "I just really want her to help!" Kait said, "It's a really great way for students to get further connected to UCF and Orlando and give back to the community they are a part of."