University Beat
7:00 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Pet Therapy at USF

Last semester, USF St. Petersburg students stressed out by final exams got a chance to unwind with a visit from therapy dogs.

With finals approaching once again, a group at USF Tampa is trying something similar - with a little extra horsepower.

Wellness USF launched a "Save Your Sanity, Save Your Grades" campaign Thursday by welcoming five small dogs, along with "Scooby Boo" - a miniature horse wearing sneakers (for a combination of safety and style, we're told).

According to USF News, Tampa-based Therapy Pet Connection brought their animals to campus to help students reduce stress. 

“Our goal is to create an environment where students can be well so they can do well on their exams,” says Stacey Pearson-Wharton, assistant vice president for Wellness. “Our hope is by attending to students’ needs in their stress, we are able to help them pass their exams with flying colors, create an environment that feels supportive, and provides them a little fun in what is typically a stressful time.”

Wellness USF is offering a number of other stress-relieving activities before and during Finals, but for some students, it's going to be tough to top the therapy pets.

"I'm super excited for these dogs to be here,” Biology and Music studies major Caitlin Autry told USF News. “I came out because I read online that they were coming and I miss my dog so much.  It makes me so happy."

The animals will be at USF's Marshall Student Center Thursday, April 25th, the next to last day of classes. Finals take place on the Tampa campus April 27th through May 3rd.