A mob of students was gathered inside the front door of Scarborough Library December 2 to take advantage of the opportunity to relieve final exam stress by petting puppies. The students were able to cuddle with happy service dogs in training from PurposeFULL Paws.
This was the first of two visits the canines made to campus this semester. They visited the library again on December 6.
PurposeFULL Paws is a nonprofit organization located in Bunker Hill that trains diabetic alert, mobility, autism service, and hearing dogs. Several dogs from a variety of breeds were on campus to visit with students.
“Numerous studies have shown the positive benefits of pets and pet therapy,” said Dr. Colleen Nolan, dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and one of the organizers of the event.
Nolan said the dogs offered students a chance to relieve some stress, and the students gave the dogs an opportunity to further their training.
“These dogs and puppies are in various stages of training as service and/or assistance dogs,” Nolan said. “The dogs must have a basic level of obedience and understand the difference between working (usually when their vest is on) and not working (usually the vest is off). This will definitely help the dogs with their training.”
Nolan said if having the dogs on campus proved to be a positive experience for all involved, Shepherd might host more stress relief sessions in the future.
To see more photos of the puppies and students, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/shepherdu/albums/72157677334856875