U students hug animals to quell stress

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University of Minnesota students are back from winter break, but the stress of life and school isn't exclusive to finals week. This semester, mental health officials are hoping more students take advantage of a program called "Pet Away Worry and Stress," or "PAWS," where cuddling and petting animals is the prescription for every day worries.

Last year, this program was only offered during midterms and finals week, but due to popular demand, it's now available every week at Boynton Health Service on the East Bank.

So far, more than 90 percent of the participants say the program is helping them manage pressure and their worries. If you aren't into cats or dogs, you can hold a rabbit, pet a miniature horse, and the other star attraction, Woodstock the therapy chicken. (He has his own Twitter account.)

Learn more about PAWS: http://www.bhs.umn.edu/services/wellness-paws.htm