Auricle Sandoval

Midterms, work and having a social life can be a stressful time for some college students. Entering a low-lit, calm conference room full of therapy dogs, however, can make those problems disappear, at least temporarily.

Del Mar College’s Counseling Center held a Paws Up Pet Therapy session Oct.16 in the Harvin Center to help students dealing with stress.

The event let students pet and play with puppies to help them relax. This helps to be a substitute for students who at times cannot bring their emotional support animal with them to school.

For some students the support they need might be with them at school or waiting for them at home. That support comes from an emotional support animal.

“Dealing with the stress of school and having a social life can be stressful at times,” said Aricela Sandoval, a music major.

Sandoval has two cats that she considers her emotional support animals. Unfortunately she has to wait to arrive home to take care of them and to end her day with them.

“It feels comforting knowing you have someone to take care of,” Sandoval said.

An emotional support animal is different from a service animal. An emotional support animal is a pet that you have registered by law and permission from a doctor. They can be any animal and do not need to be trained.

A service animal is most commonly registered as a dog but can also be a miniature pony. A service dog needs training in what type of service they need to provide and will be registered by law as well.

Both animals are registered but under different types of laws by the American Disabilities Act.

For an emotional support animal there are no species or breed restrictions. Consequently, cats, rabbits, miniature pigs, ferrets, birds and more may be emotional support animals.

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