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Therapy Dogs Comfort Students During Finals

Shadow the therapy dog engages with students.
Chloe, the Golden Retriever, is another therapy dog.
Students taking part in paraffin wax hand massages.
Students take part in SCC's Relaxation Day.

Students at the Lincoln Campus of Southeast Community College  got some stress relief from finals in the form of furry four-legged friends.

On Monday, canines from Healing Heart Therapy Dogs were pawing around the SCC Student Center, looking for students to comfort.

“Therapy dogs in higher education is a two-way street of benefits,” said Dr. K. L. Zupancic, a psychology instructor at SCC. “It allows our students to de-stress between final exams, and it’s beneficial to the dogs themselves who are the recipients of our students’ positive attention and love.”

Zupancic says bringing the therapy dogs to the College during finals was a pilot project four years ago. Since then, students and staff repeatedly ask if they can come back during the end of each quarter.

“The dogs have brought many people together at SCC, people who would not typically interact with each other,” she said.

Approximately 14 dogs of various breeds, sizes and ages will be at SCC during the first 3 days of finals week. On Monday Dec. 12 and Wednesday Dec. 14, the dogs will be at the Student Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Tuesday, Dec. 13, they will be there from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5-7 p.m.

In order to become a therapy dog for Healing Heart, they must have a calm temperament, pass a series of tests and display the following mannerisms:

C – Confident

A – Agreeable

N – Nice

I –  Interested

N – Never too loud

E – Excited/Energized

Students also had the opportunity to indulge in paraffin wax hand massages and back massages.


For more information contact:
Andrea Gallagher Haggar
Marketing Specialist