Therapy Dogs Coming to SBCC Prior to Finals Week
Santa Barbara City College hosts “Check Out a Dog and Lower Your Stress!” for students on Tuesday November 29 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. outside the college’s Luria Library on West Campus. The week before final exams is often a stressful time for students, many of whom will be spending long hours of studying at the library. End-of-semester finals at the college take place December 5-10.
Partnering with SBCC is AllforAnimals, a local nonprofit dedicated to enriching the lives of young people through personal interaction with specially trained therapy animals. All of the dogs who will be on hand have received specialized training with their human partner from All for Animals and are certified as therapy dogs by Love on a Leash, The Foundation for Pet Provided Therapy. Local volunteers will give their afternoon to serve SBCC students.
“Of all the many positive ways to support our students as they prepare for finals that we have tried, therapy dogs are by far the most popular," says SBCC Library Director Elizabeth Bowman.
"The only problem we have with this event is that students want the dogs here every day, or at least every week!"
More than a gimmick, it's actually good for you. Research shows that interaction with pets decreases the level of cortisol—or stress hormone—in people and increases endorphins, known as the “happiness hormone.” Studies also show excessive stress, like the kind students may experience during finals, impairs memory. An activity that relieves stress – such as petting a friendly dog – can improve a student’s ability to retain what they are learning.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Santa Barbara City College for this special event,” said Karen Lee Stevens, founder and president of All for Animals. “We have seen first-hand the calming effect our therapy dogs have on young children who are just learning to read at schools and libraries. When we bring our warm and happy canines into a college environment, students will have a chance to unwind and pet our dogs, too. There are always hours of smiles and laughter!”
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