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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.

Fall 2015 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.

Sept 8

Sept 9

Sept 10 - Humphrey School, room 180 HHH

Sept 22

Sept 16

Sept 17 - Carlson School, Hanson Hall, room L100

Oct 13

Sept 23

Sept 24 - Humphrey School, room 180 HHH

Oct 27

Sept 30

Oct 1 - Law School, Spannaus Commons

Nov 10

Oct 7

Oct 8 - Carlson School,
main atrium lobby

Nov 24

Oct 14

Oct 15 - Humphrey School, room 180 HHH

Dec 8

Oct 21

Oct 22 - Law School, Spannaus Commons


Oct 28

Oct 29 - Carlson School, Hanson Hall, room L100


Nov 4

Nov 5 - Law School, Spannaus Commons


Nov 18

Nov 12 - Humphrey School, room 180 HHH


Nov 25

Nov 19 - Carlson School, Hanson Hall, room L100


Dec 2

Dec 3 - Law School, Spannaus Commons


Dec 9

Dec 10 - Humphrey School, room 180 HHH


Dec 16

Dec 17 - Carlson School, Hanson Hall, room L100

Spring 2016 PAWS Schedule

Watch for spring 2016 schedule to be announced during fall semester.

Interested in volunteering your therapy animal for PAWS?

You are invited to attend an informational overview and training on Sept. 14, 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 Sept. 8. Tanya will also email you a packet that includes a map of the campus and location for parking. We will hold another session in January for additional teams to join us for the spring 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 Image Gallery

PAWS therapy dog PAWS therapy dog with student Goldy and Honey PAWS therapy dog and student

Woodstock the Therapy Chicken

It's Woodstock the Therapy Chicken

Part of the Animal-Assisted Interactions program at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Woodstock the Therapy Chicken is a frequent guest at PAWS. Woodstock tweets on Twitter @TherapyChicken. See and share photos online: #BoyntonPAWS.
Woodstock the Thereapy Chicken is on Twitter

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