Drexel University has become the first university in the country to host an on-site therapy dog year-round.
Jersey, an adopted Carolina blend and a certified therapy dog, is available about three days a week in the Drexel Recreation Center.
“He’ll host open office hours for students to come in and visit with him and unwind,” explains Kathryn Formica, Jersey’s owner and the coordinator of student fitness and wellness in the school’s recreation center.
Studies show that playing with a therapy dog can reduce blood pressure and lower anxiety and depression in college students. Many colleges, including Drexel, have hosted therapy dogs on campus for single-day occasions to ease the stress during finals week.
“A lot of students have pets at home, and being able to engage with a dog brings back happy memories and allows them to relax,” Formica adds.
Jersey’s office hours are posted on his Facebook page.