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Therapy Dogs Helping Montana State Students Dealing With Stress

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File photo of children petting therapy dogs.  (credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

File photo of children petting therapy dogs. (credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

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BOZEMAN, Mont. (CBS Seattle/AP) — At Montana State University, final exams stress is going to the dogs.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports Intermountain Therapy Animals is bringing dogs to campus this week and next to help students take a break from the stress of studying for and taking semester exams.

Jacqueline Frank is the Renne Library commons assistant who started the “Paws to de-Stress” program this semester. She says research shows that animals can help reduce stress and lower blood pressure.

“Stress levels rise around finals time on college campuses every year, and there’s research that shows that using animals in a therapy setting has multiple benefits, including reduced stress and reduced blood pressure,” Frank told the paper.

Frank says over a two-hour period on Thursday afternoon, 261 people stopped by to meet Ellie, a 6-year-old golden retriever and Sophie, a 4-year-old Maltese.

Sophomore Rebecca Johnson from Ferndale, Wash., said: “This is the best idea ever.”

Butte sophomore Kaitlyn Okrush agreed, noting she has an organic chemistry final on Monday.

According to the Chronicle, Ellie and her handler, Mary Martin, have worked with people in hospice.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

 

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