University Relations and Communications

Therapy dogs help relieve the stress of final exams

December 4, 2014



Darla Tyler-McSherry, Student Health Services, 657-2564
University Relations and Communications, 657-2266


Ruff Relief will be held Monday, Dec. 8, 11-1 p.m., in the SUB Atrium 


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — It’s that time of year again when furry four-legged animals take over Montana State University Billings, providing students stress relief from final exams.


A student takes a break from final exams to play with a Pet Partners furry companion

Teams of therapy dogs and their owners from Pet Partners—an international nonprofit that brings trained therapy animals into schools and hospitals—will spend a few hours Monday at MSUB for “Ruff Relief,” a program designed for students to counter the stresses of finals.


“We do this to provide a calming, happy experience in the midst of the high stress of the week and the weeks leading up to it,” Darla Tyler-McSherry, director of MSUB Student Health Services, said.  “It’s a special way for students to find relaxation during one of the busiest times of the semester.”


Research shows that interaction with pets decreases the level of cortisol, or the stress hormone, in people and increases endorphins, known as the happiness hormone, she said.

Sponsored by Student Health Services and Housing and Residential Life, the event will be held Dec. 8 in the SUB Atrium from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.


For more information, contact Tyler-McSherry at 657-2564 or


PHOTO: A student takes a break from final exams to play with a Pet Partners furry companion.