Volunteers and their therapy dogs from Sacramento SPCA were on hand to help out Sac State students stressed out about finishing up class papers and projects and studying for upcoming final exams – or simply missing their family pets. Students, who stopped by between classes, held and petted several dogs including a rabbit and cat outside the student library on Nov. 27. Randy Pench Sacramento Bee
Volunteers and their therapy dogs from Sacramento SPCA were on hand to help out Sac State students stressed out about finishing up class papers and projects and studying for upcoming final exams – or simply missing their family pets. Students, who stopped by between classes, held and petted several dogs including a rabbit and cat outside the student library on Nov. 27. Randy Pench Sacramento Bee

Local

Sac SPCA, Lend-A-Heart animals giving Sac State students a break from finals stress

By Kalin Kipling

kkipling@sacbee.com

November 27, 2017 12:12 PM

UPDATED November 27, 2017 02:49 PM

With finals approaching, Sacramento State students got some fluffy de-stressing Monday.

Animals from the Sacramento SPCA and Lend-A-Heart Foundation visited the University Library breezeway for a few hours – and they’ll be back 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday.

“It’s a really great feeling to watch students interact with the dogs and manage their stress during finals season,” said Jessica Virk, Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) student manager, about the “Stress-Less Puppies” event.

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It wasn’t just dogs – there was a rabbit, Slipper, and at least one kitten.

UC Davis students recently had a similar visit by “Therapy Fluffies.”

UC Davis’ SHCS cited American Heart Association research showing that those with pets have a lower risk for heart disease. Other studies have found positive effects on mental health and blood pressure.

“People who spend time petting or playing with a dog show elevated levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are neurotransmitters that contribute to relaxation and calmness,” UC Davis’ SHCS says.

“Petting a dog or cat can help students focus on the moment and diverts their attention away from their own fears or anxieties,” said Dawn Foster, director of marketing and communications for the Sacramento SPCA.

Lend-A-Heart of Sacramento brings animals to schools, hospitals, libraries, and even the airport.

The SPCA animals at the event were mainly from the group’s Love on Loan program, through which volunteers take their pets to hospitals, nursing homes and schools. It was started in 1984 by Sacramento SPCA staff and volunteers and was a big hit right away, Foster said.

“For students who currently can’t adopt a pet due to their schedule or housing restrictions, this event offers a wonderful opportunity for them to feel like they have a pet again,” said Foster. “This is also a great way for students to keep life in perspective and not get tunnel vision during finals. Five minutes with a cat or dog can really clear their mind.”

SPCA animals visit Sac State to take some stress out of finals

With finals approaching, Sacramento State students got some fluffy de-stressing Monday. Animals from the Sacramento SPCA and Lend-A-Heart Foundation visited the University Library breezeway for a few hours – and they’ll be back 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday.

SPCA

Learn more

For more information on the Sacramento SPCA’s Love on Loan program, contact Marnie Musser at mmusser@sspca.org or call 916-504-2847.