'Puppy break' helps UA students de-stress from finals - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

'Puppy break' helps UA students de-stress from finals

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UA students meet one of Hand in Paw's therapy dogs on campus. Source: Kelvin Reynolds UA students meet one of Hand in Paw's therapy dogs on campus. Source: Kelvin Reynolds
This pup named Pickens is a rescue dog that is now a part of Hand in Paw's therapy programs. Source: Kelvin Reynolds This pup named Pickens is a rescue dog that is now a part of Hand in Paw's therapy programs. Source: Kelvin Reynolds
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TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) -

After hours of studying for intense exams, college students are usually extra stressed by the time finals week rolls around.

Some students turn to extra caffeine and others pull all-nighters before crashing once tests are over. But a group called Hand in Paw is hoping to change some of those unhealthy end of the semester habits by bringing therapy dogs to campus.

Hand in Paw held one of their "Puppy Breaks" at the University of Alabama on Friday, May 3, the last day of final exams. The program, which aims to reduce stress among students and even help improve test scores, has already visited the campuses of the University of Montevallo, Samford, UAB and Birmingham-Southern.

"Spending just a few minutes petting a friendly animal can calm nerves in the midst of a stressful time," Liz Wilson, Hand in Paw interim director, said.

"We are thrilled to offer our special services to University of Alabama students for the first time," Wilson added.

A group of three therapy dogs, including a rescue dog named "Pickens" were part of the animal assistance therapy team that met with UA students between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on UA's quad next to Gorgas Library.

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