The Micro-Impacts of a 20-Something
This is Hannah. Isn’t she sweet? She melts my heart into a puddle of pure love. Hannah was one of 7 other service animals that attended NRHH’s Animal Therapy Program. Over 200 residents attended the program. The line to see the puppies spanned two floors! It was a magical sight to see so many residents come out to pet the pups!
The Problem: With stressors like finals, being away form home for the first time, trying to manage a social and school life, students no doubt feel a new level of stress once they come to campus. Especially around finals time, the stress is brought up even further. But, there are not many spaces on campus that allow animals, let alone large spaces that can hold large amounts of people. Further, as an organization, we have very little money to spend, so hiring animals to come was out of the question.
The Assets: resources in community who bring service animals to institutions for free. People willing to organize the people and pups. Partnering with an already ongoing event – who has access to animal friendly places and the capacity to hold large amounts of people, making it mutually beneficial to both involved.
The solution: We got in contact with the local animal service provider, Pet Partners who then contacted their registered therapy animal handlers. We had over 8 dogs and 200 residents come pet the animals! The turnout was so great, that they even waited in line for over 20 minutes, spanning two floors! This is the same crowd of people who we usually have to bribe with food to come to any program, and they hardly stay for 20 minutes, let alone wait in line for that long.
Here are some pictures from the event. The air was electric with excitement, smiles, and puppy love.
For more information about the benefits of therapy dogs check out this video of my childhood friend Mo giving a TedTalk! My good friend Mochelle Coffey gives a Tedx Talk about the benefits of therapy dogs.