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PAWS: Pet Away Worry & Stress

Pause for PAWS

Pet Away Worry & Stress this year on Wednesdays at Boynton Health Service’s East Bank Clinic and select Tuesdays in the St. Paul Student Center, and Thursdays on the West Bank at various locations.

Stressed out? Come de-stress and forget about your worries at Boynton Health Service! Weekly PAWS sessions feature registered therapy animal teams—including dogs, Woodstock the chicken, and other domestic animals like cats and rabbits—that you are welcome to interact with and pet. Sessions are FREE and open to the public.

The goal of the program is to be a stress-reducing outlet for the University community. Animal interactions have been demonstrated to positively affect blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormone levels in humans.

For many young adults, entering college and being away from home often means saying goodbye to their pet, a constant, trusted ally and confidant. Boynton seeks to provide Animal Assisted Interactions (AAI) in its continued effort to meet student needs, especially in the areas of stress reduction and life skills development. 

Focused on well-being, AAI teams are volunteer handlers who are specially trained and evaluated, along with their animal partners.

Spring 2016 PAWS Schedule

PAWS Dates and Locations

St. Paul:
Student Center
Harvest Room
2nd & 4th Tuesdays
1–3 p.m

East Bank:
Room W-120
2:30–4:30 p.m.

West Bank:
Locations vary
see details below
11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

Feb 9

Feb 10

Feb 11 - Humphrey School, room 180 HHH


Feb 17

Feb 18 - Carlson School, Hanson Hall, room L100

Feb 23

Feb 24

Feb 25 - Carlson School, Hanson Hall, room L100


Mar 2

Mar 3 - Law School, Spannaus Commons

Mar 8

Mar 9

Mar 10 - Humphrey School, room 180 HHH


Mar 16


Mar 22

Mar 23

Mar 24 - Carlson School, Hanson Hall, room L100


Mar 30

Mar 31 - Humphrey School, room 180 HHH


Apr 6

Apr 7 - Law School, Spannaus Commons

Apr 12

Apr 13

Apr 14 - Humphrey School, room 180 HHH


Apr 20

Apr 21 - Carlson School, Hanson Hall, room L100

Apr 26

Apr 27

Apr 28- Carlson School, Hanson Hall, room L100


May 4

May 5 - Law School, Spannaus Commons

May 10

May 11

May 12 - Humphrey School, room 180 HHH


May 18


Interested in volunteering your therapy animal for PAWS?

You are invited to attend an informational overview and training on January 25, from 5:30–7:30 p.m. at Boynton Health Service in Garden Room N101 on the Minneapolis campus. Please do not bring your animal partner to this meeting—but pictures of your animal are welcome. Drinks and light snacks will be offered. We will discuss the program, how this is different than other facilities where you might have gone with your animal, and how student needs are particular to their developing years. We will also tour the facility.

All species are welcome as long as the team is registered with Pet Partners, TDI, ITA or TDInc. Teams can sign up for one session or come weekly and stay for one hour or both hours of each two-hour session. We use an online scheduling program to track your visits. Teams will be compensated with parking validation.

Please RSVP to Tanya Bailey at by January 19. Tanya will also email you a packet that includes a map of the campus and location for parking. We will hold another session in September for additional teams to join us for the Fall semester. Please feel free to share with others who might be interested, and please don't hesitate to contact Tanya with questions. Thank you!

PAWS in the News

The video above is from the Minnesota Daily.

PAWS Image Gallery

PAWS therapy dog PAWS therapy dog with student Goldy and Honey Therapy mini-horse and a student PAWS therapy dog and student

Get Social with PAWS & Woodstock

It's Woodstock the Therapy Chicken

Woodstock the Therapy Chicken is a frequent guest at PAWS. She tweets on Twitter @TherapyChicken. See and share photos online: #BoyntonPAWS.
Woodstock the Thereapy Chicken is on Twitter
You can also follow the PAWS animals on Instagram.

PAWS in the News

The video above is from the Minnesota Daily.

Article and video from USA Today College: University of Minnesota students use pets to de-stress during finals.

Atricle from the St. Paul Pioneer Press: University of Minnesota therapy animals help calm stressed-out students.

Video from St. Paul Pioneer Press writer Richard Chin on Tout: Tanya Bailey, trainer of @TherapyChicken explains new stress-reducing program at #UofMN St. Paul campus.

Article from reporter Rick Kupchella on Bring Me the News: Stressed by college? Tell the therapy chicken about it.

Article from MinnPost: Tackling anxiety on campus with creativity: Can a therapy chicken help?

Media Advisory

More details about the PAWS program and media contact information is available in this Media Advisory from UMNews.

Boynton Health Service

410 Church Street S.E.
Minneapolis, MN, 55455

P: 612-625-8400 | F: 612-625-1434