The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Dogs in the Quad help relieve student stress

Lara Ibasco
Sadie, one of the dogs that came to the quad, licks an ASB student’s face. Sadie and the fellow dogs bring joy to the stressed students.

As Advanced Placement (AP) exams start taking place and finals week approaches, students feel a heavy weight on their shoulders. The therapy dogs that visited have helped relieve such stress. 

The event is held in the quad twice a year, typically during upcoming finals or AP exams, according to Associated Student Body (ASB) member Isabelle Kraemer, the lead facilitator of the Community Services Commission.

“We reach out to the Peninsula Humane Society, which brings in owners and their therapy dogs,” Kraemer said. 

In December 2023, six dogs were brought to the event. This year, three dogs were brought. Nevertheless, many students came to the quad throughout lunch to see and pet them to get their minds off school. 

“Kids love to come to relax and feel stress relieved,” said activities director Jim Kelly.

Due to the number of upcoming AP exams, Carlmont junior Breanna Eng feels stressed at this time of year. 

“It’s stressful that this is the one chance you get to prove what you learned throughout the year. Although I have done well in my classes, studying feels overwhelming. However, spending time with a pet helps boost my mood,” Eng said.                         

According to UCLA Health, petting animals releases chemicals that slow down breathing and heart rate, making one go into a physical state of deep relaxation.


“After petting Zoey, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders,” said sophomore Sienna Vasquez.

Zoey is a golden retriever that Naomi Newman, a volunteer from the Peninsula Humane Society, brought in. Zoey and the other dogs enjoyed receiving affection and pets from many students. 

“Therapy dogs get to go to schools when student stress is high, which is a nice way for the dogs to get attention,” Newman said.

According to Newman, after students see the dogs, both the dogs and the students’ moods boost. 

“Since it’s the end of the year, I am worried about my workload and finishing strong with good grades. But after petting the golden retriever, I was in the moment and forgot about everything else,” said sophomore Teah Sarmiento. 

Although it was a short moment for Sarmiento and Vasquez, they felt less moody and more motivated to push through the last few weeks of school. 

“I was able to forget about my workload and feel energized,” Vasquez said. 

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About the Contributor
Lara Ibasco
Lara Ibasco, Staff Writer
Lara Ibasco (Class of 2026) is a sophomore at Carlmont High School. This is her first year in journalism. She hopes to be more involved with her community this year. She enjoys cooking, baking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

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