Student Mercedes Falquez visits with Frankie, a 2½-year-old Pomeranian, at Wednesday’s “Pets for Vets” event to support student veterans and help reduce stress during final-exam week. Falquez, a Health Sciences major, took Frankie for a brief stroll around the grassy Memory Mall.

Pet Rescue by Judy provided 10 rescue dogs for the day, and at least 200 students walked, held, patted and spent time with the canines, organizers said.  The activity was held because studies show that interacting with an animal lowers your blood pressure and helps people to relax. The dogs also were eligible to be adopted.

The event was sponsored by the Veteran Academic Resource Center, Student Counseling Center and Burnett Honors College Honors Educational Reach Out.

Also participating was the UCF Anxiety Disorders Clinic, UCF Marriage and Family Institute, Canine Companions for Independence, Camaraderie Foundation, Orlando Mobile Vet Center, Veterans Health Administration, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Southland Dog Training and the Student Veteran Association.