By John McDevitt

PHILADLEPHIA (CBS) — Happiness hormones were being unleashed today at Drexel University, in West Philadelphia.

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Students there are being studied for the effect that so-called “therapy” dogs have on their stress levels.

The students fill out one survey prior to spending time with a therapy dog, and another after.

“When I look at a dog, it just makes me happy,” said one student.  “It kind of reminds me of my dogs.”

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It’s final exam time at Drexel, and stress is high.  But taking a break and petting some pooches can do a lot of good, says Dr. Wilfred Agbenyikey (photo below),  a postdoctoral reasearch fellow for the school’s department of environmental and occupational health.

(Dr. Wilfred Agbenyikey.  Photo by John McDevitt)

(Dr. Wilfred Agbenyikey. Photo by John McDevitt)

“This program is actually very important,” he tells KYW Newsradio, “because stress has been known to affect your memory and cognition.  And this time, at the end of the semester, they really need their cognition to be intact.”

More than 500 students participated in the stress survey.  Results are expected next month.

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