Wags for Mags

What is “Wags for Mags”?

“Wags for Mags” is a student-led organization at Bradley University that has teamed up with Paws Giving Independence to train service dogs to assist those with disabilities. “Wags For Mags” was launched in 2012 to involve students with the service dog training process. The program focuses on getting Bradley student volunteers, fundraising, and dog training. Dr. Stacie Bertram, the faculty advisor for the group, states, “It’s neat to see the dogs blossom in this environment, know they go on to serve families with disabilities and it’s nice to have Bradley be a part of that.”


How did “Wags for Mags” get its name?

“Wags for Mags” was named by Stacie and Rob Bertram who are physical therapy professors at Bradley University. The organization is named in memory of their daughter, Maggie, who passed away in a car accident in March 2012. Maggie was a longtime volunteer of PGI and trained a service dog named Marley.


What is a student trainer?

Bradley students participate as student trainers or foster homes for service dogs. Each student trainer is assigned a dog or dogs to work with during the week. During the time with the dog, the trainer goes through a normal routine of attending classes and running errands, while also teaching skills to the dog. The trainer is responsible for the dog for the duration of the dog’s visit on campus, and he or she must complete a training report at the end of the day.


How do I get involved in “Wags for Mags”?

Please note: there is an application process, including interviews and skills training, to be accepted as a student trainer.