On December 5, from 1-3 p.m. students were encouraged to take a break from studying for finals, stop by Counseling and Psychological Services and play with fun, friendly dogs. It is known that the human-animal bond can relieve stress, anxiety and depression.

In addition to the CAPS’ therapy dog, Bodhi, four certified therapy dogs were available through collaboration with volunteers in the local community.

A total of 131 participants came to the event. As a result of attending this activity, 92 percent shared that they felt less stress and 78 percent felt more energized.

The mission of CAPS Animal-Assisted Therapy program is to provide positive human-animal interactions that will assist in promoting the visibility and approachability of counseling services as well as enhance the brief therapeutic interventions of the center. Seventy-nine percent who attended indicated that they were more likely to utilize services offered by CAPS.

Comments from participants included:

“Please do more events like this. This was lovely!”
“It was great! I loved the dogs and they made me feel better.”
“I was so pleasantly surprised by how many dogs there were and how much I socialized here.”
“I think this was an excellent event and I would love to see it happen again!”
“It was fun and uplifting!”
“Best program ever!”
“Very relaxing.”

For more information on CAPS’ services and programs, visit: caps.sdes.ucf.edu.