UMD News Releases

Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

May 3, 2013
Alyssa Peoples | Community Health Program Coordinator, Office of Civic Engagement | 218-726-7758 |
Lori C. Melton | Communication Associate, External Affairs | 218-726-8830 |

UMD to Host "Pet Away Stress"

Duluth, MN – Just in time for finals, UMD's Office of Civic Engagement will host Pet Away Stress, an opportunity for students to relieve their pre-exam anxiety through the simple act of cuddling dogs. The event takes place on Wednesday, May 8 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Kirby Terrace (outside Kirby Lounge) and is sponsored by KUMD, the Office of Civic Engagement, UMD Health Services, and the UMD Library.

In 2012, 600 students participated in Pet Away Stress. "Last year the students were lined up like they were waiting for a roller coaster," said Erin Zoellick, community engagement specialist at the Office of Civic Engagement.

To find dogs that are up for the task, the Office of Civic Engagement worked with Animal Allies to connect with humane educators. Up to seven dogs take part in the May 8 event.

Alyssa Peoples, community health program coordinator at UMD's Office of Civic Engagement, says the science backs up the reason for the event. "Studies have shown that interactions with animals helps to decrease stress and anxiety, even if it is only for a couple minutes."

Pet Away Stress is part of the UMD Library's Stress Less Week activities. Other activities include free coffee with Champ, massages, and arts and crafts.

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