Vanessa Mendoza
Staff Writer

     Therapy pets are now going to be allowed at Mission Viejo High School to help improve students’ academics and social-emotional well-being. 

Credit: The Spruce Pets

     Starting in the 2022-23 school year, MVHS will have therapy pets available in each classroom for its students.

     Scientific research and findings reveal that therapy pets deserve a place in schools. Animals in the classroom provide both physical and emotional health benefits for students. 

     When students are separated from their friends in classes, they tend to feel less happy and worried as a result. Pets will provide tremendous relief when students are stressed over a quiz or test or even a presentation. 

     Friendly furry companions are good listeners and won’t make any judgements. Students bond easily with these gentle creatures, helping them feel more connected and confident. This can lead to a reduction of negative behavior and aggression. 

     The National Institutes of Health found that having animals in classrooms can have a positive impact on learning by directly increasing motivation, engagement, self-regulation, and human social interaction. “We have really noticed the motivation in students wanting to come to school because not only are they learning, they are having a good time with a companion,” says worker Joy Smith for the NIH. 

     In a recent study by the NIH, it is shown that students with therapy pets at school tend to have better attention and memorization skills. Having a pet in the classroom promotes a positive mood and provides significant anti-stress effects on the body. 

     The simple act of petting an animal has the effect of lowering blood pressure and heart rate while also lowering stress hormones, like cortisol, and increasing oxytocin. Just being in contact with a therapy pet calms down students when they’re upset and helps keep their anxiety at bay.

     Reducing the feeling of anxiety and depression can lead to students actually focusing on learning. Therapy pets won’t provide just stress relief, they will also provide a positive spike in grades and the way students perform and act in their classes. Smith says that “Therapy pets will improve mental health a ton but it will also help improve some students’ grades as well.” 

     The school will be providing one animal for each class period. Whether that be a dog, a cat, a guinea pig, any furry friend you can think of will be allowed at the school.

     Now you may be wondering if you can bring your own pets to school and the answer is sadly no. For everyone’s safety and protection you can not bring your own pets from home. 

     If you do try and bring your pet you will most likely face detention or even a suspension due to the fact that your pets should not be on campus at any time. 

     The pets that will be provided are going to be by the school district. These pets will have some sort of special name tag or collar that they must keep on at all times so others know that they will not harm them. 

     Therapy pets are going to be a big relief for everyone including students and teachers. Now, starting next year, you’re going to ace that next test or quiz with a therapy pet by your side!

 

This is an April Fools’ article.