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Pause 4 Paws: Puppies help FMU students de-stress before final exams

April 23, 2019 GMT

FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University Pre-Vet Club hosted the first Pause 4 Paws pre-exam stress relief event as a joint effort between the FMU club and the Florence Area Humane Society (FAHS).

Six puppies and a kitten from the shelter were brought on campus Monday to help faculty, students and staff destress before finals begin this week. They had the opportunity to cuddle and play with the animals and forget the pressures of studying for finals.

“It’s a win-win for all involved,” FAHS director Jayne Boswell said in a release.

Between 80 and 100 students and faculty stopped by the back lawn of the University Center, where the FAHS and Pre-Vet Club were set up under a tent.

The shelter animals also benefited by getting out of their cages for an afternoon and getting some human socialization and affection, Boswell said.

Boswell was on hand to educate students about the shelter’s mission to help animals in need and to let people know what is involved in adopting animals, or in volunteering with the shelter. No adoptions took place at the event.

Elizabeth Floyd, the Pre-Vet Club secretary, said she got the idea for the event as a freshman.

“It took until now as a senior to make this happen,” she said.

FMU student Kiara Arnold said it really does help.

“It brought down my anxiety about my exams,” she said.

Tamatha Barbeau, FMU faculty advisor for the Pre-Vet Club, said they appreciated the effort of FAHS to get the puppies bathed and transported to campus, where they interacted with students for about three hours.

“It is our first time on FMU campus, and everyone seems to be in agreement that we need to do this again,” Barbeau said.

This was a free event. However, donations of dry or canned food and monetary donations were accepted.

FAHS is preparing for its 13th Annual Bon-E-Fit, a major fundraising event, from 7 to 10 p.m. on May 2 at the Waters Building in downtown Florence. Tickets are on sale now for $75 each at First Reliance, Fisher Jewelers and Woofers.