For the fourth year in a row, dogs and kittens were brought to Washburn University’s campus on Friday to help students relieve the stress that comes with end-of-semester finals.
“I think this is awesome because so many people are so stressed about finals right now,” said Meghan Burke, 18, a freshman from Shawnee majoring in forensic investigation. “This just gives them an hour or just 20 minutes to come here and play with some dogs and relieve some stress. It’s really nice and I really appreciate it.”
“I have a St. Bernard at home,” added Sierra Hendrickson, 18, a freshman psychology major from Oberlin. “Big dogs are usually really helpful for relieving stress. There’s actually a study on it.”
Burke and Hendrickson were two of dozens of Washburn students who took advantage of the opportunity to play with kittens and throw tennis balls to dogs that were brought to the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.
Emi Griess, volunteer coordinator for Helping Hands Humane Society, said the annual event, hosted since 2014, is a good way to recruit Washburn students to volunteer at the animal shelter, broadening their knowledge of the Topeka community.
“We’ve gotten some great Washburn student volunteers,” she said. “We’re always looking for volunteers, and college students make great volunteers.”
Abigail Beliel, 18, a freshman from Wichita, said she was excited to hear that dogs and cats were going to be at the campus recreation center since she’s missing her own dog at home.
“I think it’s fantastic. Finals are so stressful,” she said while petting Shimmy, a 3-year-old female border collie. “Dogs are always happy to see you and cats are always ready to play.”
Contact reporter Angela Deines at (785) 295-1143 or @AngelaDeines on Twitter.