Innovative Higher Education

, Volume 42, Issue 5–6, pp 379–389 | Cite as

Animal-assisted Stress Reduction Programs in Higher Education

  • Julie M. HaggertyEmail author
  • Megan Kiely Mueller


This study investigated the prevalence of increasingly popular animal-assisted stress relief programs at higher education institutions across the United States. Although research on animal-assisted programs is increasing, there is still a lack of information documenting implementation of these programs. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the prevalence, structure, and policies around animal-assisted programs. Data from 68 schools across the U.S. revealed that animal visitation at higher education institutions is popular, and some schools have instituted formalized programs. However, there is an overall lack of knowledge regarding standards and requirements that would increase the safety and effectiveness of these programs.


Animal-assisted interventions Animal-assisted activities Animal-assisted stress relief programs Human-animal interaction Animal visitation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Animals and Public PolicyCummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts UniversityGraftonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Clinical SciencesCummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts UniversityGraftonUSA

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