St. Thomas University

Therapy Dogs and Petting Zoo at St. Thomas University Ahead of Finals

Helping students during finals with therapy dogs and a petting zoo on campus.

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St. Thomas University has employed the help of animals to aid stressed students as finals are set begin. NBC 6’s Claudia DoCampo has the story.

Stress relieving dogs, chickens, goats and even a cow named Lola at St. Thomas University on Wednesday. "I think that this really does work, it really brings the kind of relief that the students need during these tough times within finals week and even with Covid," student Gabriela Roca said.

Roca wasn't the only one getting some stress relief from certified therapy dogs from Canine Assisted Therapy Inc.

"Comfort and support and just getting a break from stresses of the real world," student Andres Moas said.

One of the therapy dogs had a stressful past of his own, but now Shadow helps others with their stress.

"I've had him about a year and a half. He was in a bad situation, he's gained about thirteen pounds since I got him and we trained him to do service work, to work with special needs kids and hospitals and things like this and special events like this", Rick Brown, Shadow's handler from Canine Assisted Therapy said.

University officials provided an array of animal assisted therapists and yoga classes too.

"We have finals week next week and we at St. Thomas want to support our students and make sure they are ready for those exams," the University's Provost, Luis Fernandez Torres said.

Also easing anxiety were a pig, a herd of rabbits and a paddling of ducks.

The animals visited from Ponies and Petting Zoo of Miami in Hialeah Gardens.