The University of Hong Kong is to continue its therapy dog programme, much to the relief of the school’s furry campus companion, Jasper. The move came after a pilot scheme received positive feedback from participants.
The nine-year-old English Sheepdog, adopted from Hong Kong Dog Rescue, was first introduced in December as part of a scheme to help students and staff members destress during 30-minute sessions on designated dates during exam periods.
The sessions involve playing with Jasper and learning about animal welfare in Hong Kong. They were held in areas of the school’s Lui Che Woo Law Library and the Main Library.
The university announced on Sunday that “based on the strong support” for the programme, the libraries will carry on with the scheme during the upcoming exam period in May, as well as arrange additional sessions throughout the semester.
The school also said that surveys conducted after each session showed that over 90 per cent agreed that Jasper is friendly, welcomes human interaction, and that participants enjoyed Jasper’s company and felt relaxed after the encounter.
The university had said that it hopes that Jasper will be able to “help current HKU students experience a better academic life.”
Jasper is the first therapy dog to be based at a Hong Kong school.