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Missouri Western State University Students Destress with Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs provide relaxation for students during finals week.

Finals week is a stressful time for college students, as they cram in their studies and try to recall all the information they learned throughout the semester. Universities around the country have just completed their weeks of academic challenge, and students can finally get a breather. However, some schools provide ways to unwind during the stressful time. According to St. Joseph CBS affiliate KSPR, Missouri Western State University brought therapy dogs to campus

Dogs Chandler and Bailey are both certified therapy dogs cared for by handler Melinda Kovacs, an assistant professor of political science at the university. Students were able to pet, hug and play with the pooches in one-hour stints over the course of finals week. 

Kovac told the source that the animals provide "an unconditionally loving, supportive furry presence" for students who need to destress. Faculty and staff also had the option to stop by and visit the dogs.

Owners who wish to get their dogs certified must meet numerous requirements. For example, with most services, dogs must be at least a year old and in good health. In many cases, owners train with their pets before applying for certification. The therapy program also performs an evaluation to ensure the dog is suited for the task.

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