PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (CBS Local) — Add therapy donkeys to the list of options for college students who want to lower stress levels ahead of final exams.
The State University of New York at Plattsburgh brought in a small herd of miniature donkeys last week as part of a wellness fair to help students cope with the anxiety and pressure that comes with typical end-of-semester responsibilities such as tests and papers that are due.
May is also Mental Health Awareness Month.
“We got a lot of strange looks and questions when we pitched the idea,” Ashley Durocher, who helped organize the wellness fair, told SUNY Plattsburgh’s student-run newspaper Cardinal Points. “We thought donkeys and a wellness fair would be a fun and creative way to discuss mental health and help our students de-stress.”
Students got to pet, hug and take photos with three miniature donkeys.
“My favorite part of the fair was definitely the donkeys,” student Carolyn Graber said.
Celeste, Jessie and Cookie are all from the New York nonprofit Thera-Pets, which was founded in 2003 to “improve human health through the use of farm animals.”
“These animals work miracles, they do truly miracle work because they can make you feel better if you feel bad,” Besaw told CBS affiliate WCAX.