The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Paws for Relaxation: Therapy dogs comfort students on campus

Students play and interact with therapy dogs during the “Paws-itive Connections” therapy dog session at the Health Center Circle at El Camino College on Wednesday, March 13. (Raphael Richardson | The Union)

Students were able to connect with each other and relieve stress while caressing therapy dogs when they visited El Camino College on May 29 outside of the Health Services Building.

Alia Nada, 18-year-old cosmetology major, said the therapy dog event was helpful and convenient.

“I had a final coming up in the class I was walking to when I saw the group of dogs. I was stressing on if I studied enough but when I saw them I just had to pet some,” Nada said. “I honestly think it gave me that break I needed to help me pass that test.”

Nada said being around the therapy dogs had multiple benefits and plans to attend the next event when they are on campus.

“I get to pet cute dogs and gets rid of stress. Of course I’m going to go like every year now.” Nada said.

An organization called Paws-to-Share works with El Camino to bring the therapy dogs on campus.

“We have them come every month throughout the semester here on campus and even in the summer as well to just help people and bring people together,” Lina Berrio, a registered nurse who has worked at El Camino since 2022, said.

Berrio said the Student Health Center decided to start bringing therapy dogs back once El Camino opened the campus after it was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paws-to-Share has been doing these events a couple of times every semester for around five years, President and founder of Paws-to-Share Jamie Goldfarb said.

“We know from experience and from research we’ve done with other groups that having pets available to students helps reduce stress and improves feelings of well-being,” Goldfarb said. “We even have some research that shows that students feel connected to each other, to the college and that dropout rates even go down in some colleges.”

There will be more upcoming therapy dog events happening on campus outside of the Health Services Building on July 9, July 24, and August 6.

“Stress is just horrible for humans. It’s horrible physically, it’s horrible mentally. It also tends to inhibit people’s natural ability to achieve,” Goldfarb said. “So by helping bring down stress levels especially at times where finals are around it actually helps increase academic performance.”

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