Montana State University

Students Paws to de-Stress

April 24, 2014 -- By Tanya Reinhardt, MSU News Service

Ziggy, a 1-year-old golden retriever who belongs to Montana State University junior Jackie Tiffany, happily offers herself as a de-stressing therapy for students at Renne Library on Wednesday. As part of the Paws to de-Stress program, Ziggy and a rotation of other certified therapy dogs will be on hand at the library during finals week to help students take a break from their studies. MSU Photo by Sepp Jannotta.   High-Res Available

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Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN– It isn’t often students sprawl on the floor of Montana State University’s Renne Library with great big smiles on their faces, but it happens a lot during the last two weeks of the semester as they cuddle and rough house with dogs participating in the Paws to de-Stress program. 

The program offers a unique way for students to counter the stresses of finals. It is a partnership between the library and Intermountain Therapy Animals, a non-profit organization enhances quality of life through human-animal bonds

“Seeing the dogs is a terrific way to de-stress,” said Jordan Toles, a sophomore in geology from Roswell, N.M., as he scratched the belly of Flip, a Collie rescued from the local animal shelter and now a certified therapy dog.

“I love dogs and this is a great de-stresser for me,” Toles added. “I study in the library and it is awesome to take periodic breaks and visit the dogs.” 

Paws to de-Stress provides two-hour blocks of time during the last two weeks of the semester for students to interact with the therapy dogs. 

“It’s nice to feel the love,” said Skyla Mollenhoff, a freshman in chemical engineering from Missoula. “I will definitely be back a few times next week,” Mollenhoff added as she hugged Dolly, a five-year-old Havanese dog with long, silky white hair.

This was Dolly’s second year volunteering at the library, said owner Becky Roeder. “Last year, nearly 270 students loved on Dolly in just two-hours during finals week,” said Roeder who works in the MSU Office of Admissions. Students flock to play with the dogs and get a break from their studies, Roeder said.

Remaining sessions with the therapy animals will be held from 9-11 a.m. Friday, April 25; from 10:00 a.m.-noon Monday, April 28; from 3-5 p.m. Tuesday, April 29; 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Wednesday, April 30; 9-11 a.m. Thursday, May 1; and noon-1p.m. Friday, May 2.

Questions may be directed to Jacqueline Frank at (406)994-3139,

More information about Renne Library is available at 

Contact: Jacqueline Frank (406)994-3139,