With Spring Sing just around the corner, many of our students are balancing long Spring Sing practices with homework and sports. For this reason, the OLP Library sought the help of the San Diego Humane Society to bring their Pet-Assisted Therapy program to campus. The purpose of the Pet-Assisted Therapy Program is to share the joy of animals with people in the community. These types of pet therapy programs have become popular aspects of many finals week de-stress events at schools across the country. For instance, UCSD has weekly “Therapy Fluffy” events designed to help students reduce the stress of college classes. Not only is there anecdotal evidence to prove the effectiveness of these programs, but there is also scientific data backing these claims. According to research studies, “the simple act of petting animals releases an automatic relaxation response.” Perhaps this is why students shared that they had been “waiting for this event all week”!
So on January 26th, four brave volunteers from the San Diego Humane Society were met with approximately 200 students who eagerly waited for their chance to pet certified therapy dogs. In attendance, were two labradoodles and two beagles who not only were a joy to pet, but were also incredibly talented dogs that had many tricks to show off! The dogs demonstrated their abilities to “high five,” “howl at the moon,” and “roll over,” much to the joy of the students. As the event was wrapping up, a volunteer asked a student if this event was for finals week, the student replied: “no, we just really needed this.”