images of people petting dogs

Spring 2020 A Virtual Paws to De-Stress: 

A Virtual Paws to De-Stress 2020

Join Montana State University (MSU) Library outreach and humanities librarian Jan Zauha as she interviews International Therapy Animal volunteer, Nancy and her therapy dog, Lily. 'Paws to De-Stress' is an important tradition at the MSU Library, offering students time to relax and de-stress. This year the library is unable to have therapy animals come to the library for the Paws event because of COVID-19 restrictions. However, the library is pleased to continue sharing the joy animals can bring in a virtual setting.

A special thanks to our friends at Intermountain Therapy Animals for working hard to help our MSU community thrive!

LibGuide to De-Stress

It's important to work hard while you are in school, but it's also important to take a break from time to time. When you take the time to de-stress, you'll find you return to your work recharged and better able to focus.

MSU Library has gathered an assortment stress relief activities for you to enjoy.

Check them out at our MSU Library LibGuide to De-Stress

Stats & pictures from previous events:

Paws to Destress infographic - Spring 2019



Paws-to-Destress Infographic — Fall 2017 

Paws-to-Destress Infographic — Fall 2016

Paws-to-Destress Infographic — Fall 2015

Paws-to-Destress Infographic — Fall 2014


Goals of the program & why we do it

MSU Library is committed to promoting student success. As finals week approaches on campus, stress levels rise especially among students. Research shows that using dogs in a therapy setting has multiple benefits including reduced blood pressure and decreased stress levels of participants[i] 

Dogs on Campus: Policies

University policy states that dogs, other than service dogs for the disabled, are not permitted in buildings on campus: As an exception made by President Cruzado to university policy, Paws to de-Stress is a sanctioned event which brings in registered Therapy Dogs to the library and other campus locations during a designated, pre-scheduled timeframe.

The library welcomes service dogs at anytime; otherwise please leave your pets at home. 

Allergies & Fears

We have taken time and care to address concerns of allergies and fears of dogs. The times and space that dogs are scheduled to be present will be publicized in advance, and the area is removed from all service points & collections allowing anyone to avoid interaction with the dogs if they wish.

Full information is available on our Paws to de-Stress Educational Handout.  

Intermountain Therapy Animals

Intermountain Therapy Animals Logo

MSU Library partners with Intermountain Therapy Animals, a non-profit organization bringing animal resources to human needs, and specializing in animal-assisted therapy. 

For more information on Intermountain Therapy Animals, visit their website at

Information for volunteers

All volunteer teams are registered as Therapy Animals, and are sponsored through a recognized organization covered by liability insurance. If you are interested in volunteering with your dog, please contact Intermountain Therapy Animals for more information. 

Information for other libraries

See our Paws to de-Stress Program Overview, and our Paws to de-Stress Educational Handout

Check out past ways MSU Library has helped students to De-Stress

Spring Semester 2019



[i] Vormbrock JK, Grossberg JM (1988): Cardiovascular effects of human-pet dog interactions. J Behav Med, 11:5,509-17.