University Library

Pause for Paws! - Therapy Dogs in the Library

Event Calendar

Take A Break!

Research has demonstrated that time spent petting an animal can lower feelings of stress, lower blood pressure and improve mood and sense of well being.  

About the Program

Quarterly Event -- Fall, Winter & Spring
Dogs visit the both libraries each quarter before final exams for a fun, relaxing stress reducing event!

Registered Therapy Dogs
Each dog is a registered therapy dog from a nationally recognized therapy dog organization. Therapy dogs must meet certain requirements for good manners and good health before they can become registered therapy dogs.

Our dogs are registered with one of three organizations: Alliance of Therapy Dogs (formerly Therapy Dogs Incorporated - TDInc), Therapy Dogs International (TDI) and Furry Friends. Organizations such as these regulate, test and register therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers for the purpose of visiting nursing homes, hospitals, libraries and wherever else therapy dogs are needed. 

Dogs must meet these minimum requirements as part of the registration process:

  • Be good around other dogs
  • Listen to their handlers
  • Allow strangers to touch them all over
  • Not jump on people when interacting
  • Walk on a leash without pulling
  • Be calm for petting
  • Be current on all vaccines required by local laws
  • Be clean and well groomed

Additional Training & Certification
Some of the dogs in our program also have training in other areas, such dog agility and certification from the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) program.

Campus Permit
UCSC does not normally allow dogs on campus. Therapy dogs are not considered assistance dogs and do not have the legal access rights that either assistance or service dogs have.


**All dogs participating in this program have a special permit from the UCSC campus allowing them to come onto campus while participating in this program.

Healthy Dogs & Other Certification
All dog handlers have provided the UCSC campus with proof that their dogs are healthy and are registered therapy dogs. Proof of rabies and distemper vaccinations, a registered dog therapy certificate, and a current dog license are all required by the campus. 

Responsible Dog Handlers
While on the UCSC campus, all dog handlers also agree to:

  • Keep their dogs on leash and under supervision at all times
  • Clean up after their dogs
  • Ensure their dogs wear identification showing the owner's name, address and phone number
  • Take responsibility for their dog's behavior so they do not cause a nuisance 
  • Carry the UCSC permit allowing their dog on campus for the purpose of the program

Leader of the Pack

Layna Registered Therapy Dog

Program Goals

  1. Alleviate stress during final exams
  2. Learn more about therapy dogs, assistance dogs and service dogs
  3. Have fun!


All dog handlers volunteer their time and animals to participate in this program.

A number of the dog/handler teams also participate in other local programs, such as the Santa Cruz Public Libraries Tales to Tails children's reading program.