Skip to main content
Current students


Honorary ‘dogtorate’ for special Teesside University colleague

09 March 2023


To celebrate University Mental Health Day (Thursday, 9 March), Teesside University has created a special award for a unique team member to recognise their work supporting student wellbeing.

Brengle the Therapy Dog has had an honorary ‘dogtorate’ bestowed upon him in recognition of the hugely positive impact he has had on his regular visits to the University campus.

Golden retriever Brengle has weekly visits to the University with his owner, Middlesbrough Salvation Army church leader Captain Naomi Kelly, as part of the University’s faith and reflection service.

His friendly demeanour helps break the ice and encourages students to engage with the faith and reflection service, while his calm presence provides reassurance in difficult and stressful situations.

As well as his regular visits to the campus, Brengle has helped support a cohort of students who had suffered a bereavement and has been on hand to support students as they come out of exams.

Captain Kelly said: “We get a very positive response from all the people Brengle has been in contact with.

“Over the time he’s been at Teesside University, there’s been so many students saying how their mental health has been boosted and how they’ve felt the love from him.

“A lot of people who come to see Brengle might start off from a place of stress and by the time they leave, they’re laughing and joking and talking about how relaxed they feel.

“He shows unconditional love to everybody he meets. He loves getting cuddles and loves people chatting to him. They’re great qualities for a therapy dog.

Brengle does a fantastic job, encouraging people to engage with our support services and providing them with love and reassurance.

Sarah Bishop, Assistant Director, Student and Library Services.

“It’s a great honour to receive this award and we’re delighted that the University is recognising the good work that Brengle has done and the support he has given across the campus.”

University Mental Health Day is organised by Student Minds, the UK’s student mental health charity and works to ensure that no student is held back by their mental health.

Brengle’s visits to Teesside University are part of a range of interventions and support offered by the university to improve student mental wellbeing.

Sarah Bishop, Assistant Director (Culture, Community and International) of Student and Library Services at Teesside University, who presented Brengle with his award, said: “Often students are away from home for the first time, sometimes in a foreign country, and could be dealing with things like exam pressures, money issues or relationship breakdown.

“It is vital, therefore, that students know that the University is there to help them and can offer support.

“Brengle does a fantastic job, encouraging people to engage with our support services and providing them with love and reassurance.

“When you see him walking around campus, you see people point and smile, they enjoy him being here.

“We’re delighted to create this special honour for him, he’s a worthy recipient.”

In the News

'Dogtorate' for special pooch
Darlington and Stockton Times, p.1, Print and Web, 10/03/2023
A four-legged member of a university support team has received a special "dogtorate" for his work.

Pooch honoured with a 'dogtorate'
Gazette Live, p.7 , Print and Web, 09/03/2023
Brengle regularly visits Teesside University's campus and provides calm reassurance through stressful times for students

Teesside University therapy dog receives honorary ''dogtorate'' for mental health support, Web, 09/03/2023
Brengle the golden retriever has been helping students with their mental health on campus.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Search UNIverse

Go to top menu