COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Popular mental health program Buckeye Paws therapy dogs at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center will expand to the wider university community.

Students, faculty, and staff on OSU’s campus can request a visit from the animals.

The program started offering support to medical center employees before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Right now, there are 30 dogs in the program, all certified through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, with nine more dogs currently in training.

The university is holding a public meet and greet with some of the dogs and their handlers Tuesday morning on the oval near Thompson Library.

The university said research backs up the program’s positive impact on mental health with medical center staff members, reporting a 50 percent improvement in their mood after spending time with a dog.