Therapy dogs bring smiles, ease stress for KSU students during finals week

Finals week has arrived at Kennesaw State University, and so have the visitors from Happy Tails Pet…

Georgia (Dec 10, 2014) — Finals week has arrived at Kennesaw State University, and so have the visitors from Happy Tails Pet Therapy.

Meet Jackson. And Seger. These trained therapy dogs, along with their volunteer humans, came to the Sturgis Library to help students de-stress during finals week, bringing smiles to the faces of hundreds of eager dog lovers.

Emily Laney, a Kennesaw State alumnus and a part-time KSU instructor in Social Work and Human Services, brought her trained therapy dog, Biscuit, to the open session. After a drink of water, Biscuit, a corgi mix, greeted his new friends, with tail wagging.

During the two-hour de-stress session, KSU students took a short reprieve from studying to pet the furry friends.

Lindsay Oxley and Gracie Brownlee, both freshmen, were eager to pet Biscuit and the other six dogs in attendance. In their first semester away from home, Oxley and Brownlee missed their own family dogs.

“My dog is my whole life,” said Gracie Brownlee, an English education major. “This is the cutest idea. Playing with puppies is the best way to relieve stress.”

Happy Tails Pet Therapy is an all-volunteer pet therapy service based in Roswell, Ga. With many different breeds, Happy Tails’ dogs are invited to campus by the Center for Health Promotion and Wellness in collaboration with the Sturgis Library during finals and midterm weeks.

According to Steve Settle, who brought Seger, pet therapy allows students to relax and takes their minds off their issues. Settle has been bringing his Newfoundland therapy dogs to hospitals and schools for nearly a decade.

Pet therapy has great health benefits, especially for stressed-out college students.  But it’s the hugs, smiles, photos and occasional selfies that showed the doggone proof.

- Tiffany Capuano 

Click here to learn more about therapy dogs


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit