In addition to horses, Cherry Gulch also has a number of small and mid sized animals for students to care for and interact with such as dogs, goats, sheep, a rabbit, chickens, and sometimes turkeys, or pigs.
Not all boys boarding schools offer animal assisted psychotherapy like Cherry Gulch. Taking care of animals can be therapeutic and petting them is soothing. Cherry Gulch has several therapeutic dogs. Elmo (a mix) was rescued from an animal shelter. Patty (a Great Pyranese) is a guardian dog and she protects the boys and the other animals. Sam in a very mellow Black Lab and Zoe is an energetic Boxer. Our dogs have mild temperaments, are loving, patient, and encouraging. It is hard to stay upset when a friendly, concerned, dog walks over wagging his or her tail and licks you. A number of scientific studies have documented the therapeutic influence animals have on people.
Staff members who are trained experts in animal care supervise the animal facilities and make sure that the animals are being cared for appropriately. They also teach the students about the animals and how to care for them. There is also an abundance of wildlife around campus.