Dog Days at UNO: Pet a Puppy event lets students take a “paws” from studying

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As finals week is approaching, students have definitely been feeling the stress of their impending exams. Thankfully, MavPro and Student Government provided a study break for students to distress with some furry friends. Last week, MavPro and Student Government held the Pet a Puppy event in the Milo Student Bail Center, where students were allowed to spend time with therapy dogs.
More than 300 students came to the event to pet the dogs. The dogs were provided by an organization called Domesti-Pups, which has dogs from a variety of places, including different animal shelters. This organization trains dogs, so that they can provide therapy on visits to places like schools, nursing homes and hospitals. Domesti-Pups brought a chocolate lab, a yellow lab named Molly and a pit bull named Lily to the student center. “Dogs have been proven to help relieve stress and improve healing and recovery rate in patients,” said Ben Kaipust, vice president of Student Government and leader of the Freshman Leadership Council (FLC), who helped plan the event as one of their projects for the year.
FLC began planning the event last fall. “Many students need something to take their mind away from  stressful finals, and FLC thought that playing with puppies would fill that need,” said Peter Niechwiadowicz, the public relations co-coordinator for MavPro. Since MavPro was also hoping to plan a similar event, the two groups collaborated on the Pet a Puppy event. The Pet a Puppy event was one of a few different events that Student Government and MavPro have collaborated on this year.
“I think it is great to see two different student organizations working together to make outstanding events that students want to attend,” Kaipust said.
The therapy dogs provided a fun and easy way for students to relieve pre-finals week anxiety. “Students said they loved the dogs, and they helped relieve some stress,” said Sharon Ward, who was in charge of the event for MavPro. “I think this was a successful event that students enjoyed, so it would not surprise me to see this event again in the future.”
Since finals week happens every semester, the therapy dogs are sure to return in the future. “We received nothing but positive feedback from students,” Kaipust said. “The event was a perfect way to take a break from studying before finals. I believe the event will most definitely become an annual event.”

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