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Students and Faculty Can De-Stress with Therapy Dogs Before Finals

Old Dominion's Pre-Veterinary Medical Association (ODU PVMA) will sponsor a Therapy Dog event on campus from noon to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 3 and 5 in Webb Center. Open to students and faculty, the sessions will offer a quiet moment to relax and de-stress with a certified therapy dog.

The Dec. 3 session will be in the Portsmouth Room and the Dec. 5 session in the Chesapeake/Portsmouth Room.

"The week before finals is typically a high-stress time for students and faculty, and interacting with a pet has been shown to reduce stress," said Heidi Garman of the ODU PVMA, who is coordinating the event. "Similar programs have been in effect at Harvard Medical School and the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech. Our goal is to offer these events each semester during high-stress times, such as move-in week and the week before finals."

ODU PVMA will host seven Therapy Dogs International (TDI) teams on Dec. 3 and 5 - each consisting of one dog and one handler - at the sessions. The dogs will be of varying breeds and sizes, and all are certified as therapy dogs by TDI. "They are used to working with the public and are trained as 'K-9 Good Citizens,' Garman said. "These are the same dogs that visit patients in the hospital and in nursing homes, etc."

For more information call Garman at 814-9715.

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