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Photo credit: Savannah Peat
A woman holds a dog at the Fall 2022 Cuddle a Canine event.

Furry friends will return to campus to help soothe the University of New Mexico community for Cuddle a Canine hosted by University Libraries. The event takes place Thursday, April 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the northwest corner of Smith Plaza outside Zimmerman Library.

The therapy dogs and their owners from the Southwest Canine Corps of Volunteers will be on hand to comfort, listen and cuddle with students, staff and faculty. The Albuquerque-based Southwest Canine Corps of Volunteers is a local, not-for-profit organization with more than 70 members and multiple dogs. The organization has been offering pet therapy to the community for over 30 years. The canine corps visits hospitals, rehab centers, libraries, the 911 call center, nursing and long-term care facilities to bring the relief only a dog can provide.   

Science has long identified benefits of interacting with animals. 

“Over the years, research has shown that animals, and in particular dogs, can ameliorate the effects of potentially stressful life-events, reduce levels of anxiety, loneliness and depression, and enhance feelings of autonomy, competence and self-esteem,” Deborah Wells, a faculty member at Queen’s University Belfast, wrote in a paper published in the British Journal of Health Psychology.

Cuddle a Canine is an event held each semester by the University Libraries to help with the anxiety and stress that tends to accompany the end of the semester.