images of people petting dogsWhat is Paws to De-Stress?

During Dead Week and Finals Week each semester, MSU Library partners with Intermountain Therapy Animals (ITA) to bring therapy animal to the library for Paws to De-Stress. Students are encouraged to take moment to relax and De-stress with these animals, so they can finish the semester with renewed vigor. 

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]

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Intermountain Therapy Animals

Intermountain Therapy Animals LogoMSU Library partners with Intermountain Therapy Animal (ITA), 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

All ITA 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. 

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 time frame.

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.

Stress Relief LibGuide

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 Stress Relief LibGuide

Information for other libraries

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


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Previous Paws to De-Stress Events

Spring 2021 - Pets of the MSU Library help you Paws to De-Stress

This semester we are starting off sooner to help students De-Stress! The employees of the library want to help in anyway they can, which includes sharing the smiles that their pets can bring to your face! Relax as the cats and dogs of MSU Library come together to help you de-stress!

Fall 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 (ITA) 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 ITA for working hard to help our MSU community thrive!

Paws to Destress infographic - Spring 2019


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Check out De-Stress Activities from Spring 2019

Spring Semester 2019


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