College Students Find Stress Relief in Fostering Dogs


SPRINGFIELD,Mo–Going off to college is an exciting time for students, but it can also be lonely and overwhelming.  A study from Ohio State University says a pet could ease that anxiety and a local rescue is ready to make a match.

That study says owning a pet could help with depression and physical health.That’s why Rescue One is reaching out to college students as fosters.

“College can be very stressful,” explains Missouri State Senior Maddie Klump.

Students say spending time with their dog, even for a few minutes, helps take away the edge of stress from college.

“Sometimes you’re just sitting there and the weight of the world is on your shoulders, but then she just comes over, puts her head in my lap. And I’m like you know, it’s going to be okay, I got this.”

“Klump is taking seventeen hours and is a foster “parent” to Cocoa through Rescue One.”

“It was just nice to kind of come home after a really long day and just kind of pet it out, just be like it’s okay.”

She says Cocoa is always begging for attention.

“She gives kisses, she whines sometimes, jumps a little bit despite her being an old girl, but she loves to be pet, she loves people.

The shepard mix requires extra responsibility for this college student since Cocoa is diabetic

“It almost kind of puts another drive towards oh I need to get certain assignments done at this time or I need to get x,y, and z done before this time cause I need to go home and see the dog.”

But she says it’s all worth it..

“It’s almost kind of an excuse if you want to leave. Be like hey I just want to go see the dog, the dog needs me.”

Ellen Dowdy is A foster coordinator  with Rescue one and tells KOLR10, “Adopting an animal and saving their lives, making room for another animal that we need to help. It’s such a gift.”

Dowdy says the nonprofit has over a 100 foster families, dozens of those are college students.

“They just get to love on them and take care of them, help find their forever home and we’ve give them another one.”

Rescue One pays for all of the dogs needs such as vet visits, food and other necessities. All that is required of you is love and nurturing.

“They are there for you.They want to be pet, want to be loved,” says Klump.

One of the biggest benefits of pet ownership is exercise.  A Baylor College of Medicine study shows that dog owners are 54% more likely than other adults to get recommended levels of exercise.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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