Exam period can be a stressful time for high school students.

To relieve that stress, DanversCARES invited representatives from Perfect Paws Pet Ministry and their certified therapy dogs to Danvers High School to interact with the kids during mid-term week.

“Something as simple as petting a dog after doing a brutal exam can make a big difference,” said DanversCARES Interim Director Lyle Harrod. “You wouldn’t believe the amount of stress these kids are under.”

DanversCARES is a community group in town focused on positive youth development. Although this is the second year DanversCARES organized the program, the DanversCARES high school student group initially thought of the idea.

“We want to try to find healthy alternatives so students don’t go to using addictive products and can find other stuff like playing with dogs,” said one sophomore in DanversCARES.

“Everyone really gets stressed over mid-terms and finals, and they can play with the dogs and it calms them down,” added another student in the group.

Harrod explained why these dogs are important for the students’ mental health.

“They are giving you a fun stress relief alternative, and you are also getting a healthy coping mechanism,” said Harrod. “If you are really stressed out or are going through a tough time, [you may] resort to smoking marijuana or using other substances but the focus here is a positive alternative.”

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