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Students De-Stress with Pet Therapy

SCRANTON — Midterms are rapidly approaching at the University of Scranton and in hopes of cutting down on student stress, professors treated students to a...

SCRANTON -- Midterms are rapidly approaching at the University of Scranton and in hopes of cutting down on student stress, professors treated students to a little "pet therapy."

On this midterm week, University of Scranton students could be found huddled on a gymnasium floor instead of around their books. It was only for a few hours, to get face to face with a little four-legged therapy.

"This is my favorite day of the whole year. I love it. I look forward to coming here," said Amber Page.

The University of Scranton has hosted its Pet Therapy Day during fall midterms for 10 years running. It's become one of the most popular campus events and it's pretty clear why.

"I've actually had a really stressful week, so just, I feel like, this will be a good way to de-stress and everything," said Page.

"I have a dog at home. I really miss him. And I have a test today too. That kind of stress, I just wanted to be around the dogs and just hold them, pet them. It just makes me happy," said sophomore Olivia Adams.

French bulldog "Ralph" was a big hit. This is the first year his owner has brought him to pet therapy.

"I know all of the students they miss their dogs so much and now that I have a 19 year old who is off, I know how much he misses home. So I thought I would bring Ralph and share him for all of the kids," said Valerie Taylor of Waymart.

The dogs belong to faculty and staff at the university. There are almost 40 dogs registered for pet therapy. And over the course of the afternoon a few hundred students stopped by and each has a special connection with a particular pet.

"For me, it was the German shepherd because that's what I used to have. So you know, just made the connection between my dog and that one," said junior Michael Kozlowski.

And of course, since the University of Scranton is a Jesuit institution, clergy came by to bless the pets and the students as they head into a brutal week.

But it's tough to tell just who is more blessed here.