Puppies and belly scratching meet at Pet Away Stress

Gerry Bolden, senior in secondary education, says hello to Oliver, one of the foster dogs helping at Pet-Away Stress while Greg Woods, sophomore in journalism holds him. Students gathered on K-State's campus on Wednesday to "pet-away" their stress with the help of Purple Paws and K-State's Counceling Services. (Olivia Bergmeier | Collegian Media Group)

Animal lovers and Kansas State students gathered in the Quad to take a break from studies and play with some of Manhattan’s furry companions at the Pet Away Stress event held by Counseling Services and Purple Power Animal Welfare Society.

Students were invited to visit the dogs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday or to just stop by and play between classes.

Wendy Barnes, online programs coordinator at Counseling Services, said this was a good way for students to take a break from school and find a way to relieve some stress in between midterm exams.

Barnes said she is always searching for ways to reach out and connect with students. Pet Away Stress, which Barnes said is always a crowd pleaser, is held every year.

Jake Schulte, junior in architectural engineering, said he was unaware of the event, but decided to stop by when he saw dogs in the Quad.

“I have always been a dog person and can’t pass up an opportunity to play with some adorable puppies,” Schulte said.

Megan Larkin, sophomore in journalism and mass communications, said she was excited to hear that dogs were going to be on campus because she does not have one at home.

“I think it’s really cool that they allow the dogs to come to campus because it allows students to interact with animals and that always makes people smile,” Larkin said.

Laura Gunderson, senior in gender, women and sexuality studies, said she was happy to attend because students who live on campus do not have access to pets, so it was great to be around animals for a short period of time.

“People like me who live in the dorms aren’t able to have pets, so this was a really nice way to relieve some stress,” said Gunderson.

Susan Clasen, founder of Purple PAWS, said the mission of the organization has always been rescuing homeless animals and placing them in foster homes around Manhattan.

Clasen said she believes this event is not only beneficial to the students who get to pet away their stress, but also to the dogs.

“This is good for them because they need the socialization and they like the attention,” Clasen said.

Clasen said most of the dogs at the event are rescue dogs currently being fostered in homes across Manhattan.

For more information about stress management, head to the Counseling Services website. To learn more about fostering an animal or pet adoption, check out Purple PAWS online.