By: Alison Chodak
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – How would you feel if you had a therapy pet on campus? Imagine living on campus feeling alone in your room and you don’t feel like doing anything. How could you change that? How could you stop feeling lonely or more cheerful? Well there is one thing you could do – you could get a therapy pet.
Studies show that many people feel better around animals, especially cats and dogs. College is a tough time especially with homework and being away from your family for the first time. When I am away from my cat, it’s hard not having a pet to cuddle with and not having that comfort or attention. I think we all can agree that we love having attention from animals.
Most people have a hard time leaving their family, while some have a harder time leaving their pet. How do you cope with leaving your favorite pet behind? You could always contact your parents or guardians, ask how they are and if your pet is okay dealing with the transition. You could also FaceTime a family member for the opportunity to see your pet. Sometimes my cat likes hearing my voice and gets excited to see me on my mom’s phone.
Therapy pets play an important in easing your loneliness. Feeling lonely is never a good thing and there are moments in college where you do feel alone and you miss home. Last year, I was having a hard time and I really missed my cat. He was my best friend and for the longest time I considered getting a therapy cat. I didn’t because of many different reasons. The main reason was it is a very long process to get a therapy cat. You have to get a therapist back at home to sign a sheet saying it’s okay to get a therapy pet and then people have to determine if the person is able to take care of the pet.
If you apply for a therapy pet in the fall semester – and get approved – then you find out spring semester. This process should be less complicated and have a less of a wait time because some students will either just go out and get a pet or continue to feel lonely. Pets relieve stress and Niagara University should have an easier way to get therapy pets for people who feel lonely and stressed.