Puppies Help Honors College Students Smile, Relax During Final Exams Week

Puppies Help Honors College Students Smile, Relax During Final Exams Week

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -  The following is a news release from The University of Southern Mississippi:

Sensing her stressed-out students needed some puppy love headed into finals week, University of Southern Mississippi Honors College Dean Ellen Weinauer arranged for a therapeutic meeting Dec. 8 between some four-legged fur babies and the scholars.

Weinauer reached out to Southern Pines Animal Shelter volunteer Valerie Rachal to arrange the get-together on the front lawn of the Honor House Monday, with several puppies awaiting adoption from the shelter arriving to the delight of an adoring and affectionate group of honors students.

"I know of other schools that engage in pet therapy for their students during finals week. It's great for stress management," Weinauer said as the students hugged, petted and played with the puppies.

Yolanda Cruz of Biloxi, Miss., a senior journalism major, said visiting with the puppies was the perfect antidote, if only for a while, for the angst of finals week. "It's great that the Honors College arranged for this to take place for the students and bring attention to the work of Southern Pines Animal Shelter," Cruz said. "It's a nice distraction."

Myka Murphy of Atlanta, a junior vocal performance major, smiled as she hugged Suki, a long-haired black puppy. "It's just nice to do this for a couple of hours and not think about all I have to do this week," Murphy said.

For information about Southern Pines Animal Shelter, including how to support the shelter and adoptions, visit http://www.southernpinesanimalshelter.org/. For information about the Southern Miss Honors College, visit www.usm.edu/honors.