Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Puppies Reduce Student Stress

If exercise and rest were not enough to mitigate stress, Yale Law School students can now rent a “therapy dog” for 30-minute periods.

According to Blair Kauffman, the law librarian at Yale, there is proof that therapy dogs lead to reduced stress and greater happiness.

Students at these universities greeted the program with enthusiasm.

“[The program] has been very well received by the students,” Jan Conroy, director of public affairs at Yale Law School, said in an email.

A handful of other schools across the country have launched similar programs to Yale’s, including New York University, Tufts University and the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh.

“Research reports lowered heart rates, increased engagement in treatment, lowered depression, decreased anxiety,” Kim Charniak, clinical social worker at University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, said in an email.

While Georgetown does not currently have a therapy dog, Carol Day, director of Health Education Services, called the rental program a “wonderful idea.” However, she stressed that the introduction of a therapy dog would require a lot of training and paperwork for clearance.

Georgetown students displayed mixed reactions to the idea of having a therapy dog available for rent.

Alexandra Moran (SFS ’13) supported the concept based on her own experience with pets.

“That sounds awesome. I have a dog, so I would use it,” she said.

Others questioned the usefulness of such a dog.

Allen Nawrocki (MED ’14), for one, said he would probably not use a therapy dog.

“I love puppies. I just think it’s weird in a school environment, but other than that it’s pretty cool,” he said.

Rachel Pugh, director of media relations at Georgetown University, said that students can visit Jack the Bulldog for a similar experience.

“While Jack the Bulldog is not here for stress relief, on most days he can be found in the lobby of Wolfington Hall, and students are welcomed to visit Jack there,” she said.

Marc Berardi (MSB ’14) said that Jack the Bulldog is a good substitute for a therapy dog.

“Whenever we get to see Jack around it’s really nice,” he said.

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