A simple pet can do wonders

Pet partners visit NDSU and share who they are at event hosted by students

Being a college student comes with a lot of stressors. Getting passing grades, paying for your education as well as for rent and food. Trying to balance all of this, not to mention any personal stressors in one’s life, can accumulate to cause even more stress and challenges.

College students are bombarded with stressors of all kinds and it can overwhelm them. Some may seek traditional therapy or learn how to manage their time better, but did you know that a simple pet could make a difference?

It doesn’t matter what type of pet it is. Almost any kind of pet can help. Dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, llamas, alpacas and many more can all help alleviate the stressors in one’s life.

That may sound great, but where do these pets come from? That is where Pet Partners of River Valley come in.

Pet Partners of River Valley seeks to enrich the lives of people and pets by providing opportunities for human and animal interaction while participating in educational, social and therapeutic activities. They are just a local chapter of a much larger international therapy pet program and all they want to do is help.

Before we went on our Thanksgiving break, Pet Partners visited campus to talk about their program and their new internship opportunity that’s available. They were invited to campus by fellow NDSU students, Bruno P. Lozano, Faith Hicks, Amanda Bierman and Amanda Witzman as part of their capstone assignment,

Around 27 people attended the informational event where Pet Partners talked about who they were and the internship they have. They even brought pets for students to play with.

“The goal of this event was to really show the community who pet partners are and to increase the knowledge about the benefits of having therapy dogs in the community,” Bruno, one of the organizers, said.

Those benefits are huge and outweigh any costs. Being able to interact with a therapy pet can alleviate many stressors. If you have a pet at home and snuggle up to it, you know all too well how good it feels

Pet Partners is not a rookie when it comes to handling therapy animals either. They were founded in 1977 and now have more than 13,000 Pet Partner teams that are registered countrywide.

Pet Partners is known to work with many libraries, campuses and hospitals to bring therapy animals to the ones in need.

At libraries, readers are encouraged to share whatever they are reading with a therapy pet; Percy Jackson is always a good choice. At campuses, like our very own NDSU, they provide students and staff the ability to attend many different events like distressing and informational sessions. They even bring pets to hospitals so that patients can play with them.

The internship at Pet Partners will count toward college credit, so if you need an internship, this is perfect. It is unpaid but can also be remote and is offered only for the summer.

The student will be managing social media, website, and event scheduling and execution. If they are in the Fargo area, they can hang out with therapy pets.

It will allow the students to play with therapy pets as well as work in a fast-paced environment.

If you’d rather not intern for them, you can still enjoy what they have to offer. If you want to take the extra step you can volunteer to be a part of pet partners, you need a pet of course.

If you are a college student, you can apply for the internship at petpartners.org. Information to plan for an event like Bruno, both Amanda’s, and Faith can be also found at the website along with information on how to contact them.

A simple pet can help alleviate many forms of stress that a person may be dealing with (only of course, if you can meet the demands and responsibilities of pet ownership). If not, the pets at Pet Partners are waiting.

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