Just Paws & Breathe

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Just Paws & Breathe

Carolina Figueroa and her Emotional Support Animal named Rango

There seems to be a new fad on the University of Illinois- Urbana, Champaign’s campus and it is not a fashion statement.

The need for an Emotional Support Animal has increased. According to a survey done by the American College Heath Association, 33 percent of students on campuses felt depress and over 50 percent of students admitted to feeling overwhelmingly anxious.

The Counseling Center at the University of Illinois provides many options for students who feel depressed and/or suffer from anxiety. Carolina Figueroa, A Sophomore, went to the Counseling Center in hopes of treating her anxiety. “I kept making counseling appointment’s and after about 4 sessions, the counselor suggested I go to a psychiatrist at McKinley. Luckily, I already had a psychiatrist so I didn’t have to go through the process of getting a new doctor. The psychiatrist was the one who approved me to get an Emotional Support Animal.”

This is the route many students are currently choosing to go. Medication is always an option, but is not always a reliable choice. Figueroa says “I feel that some times medicine sometimes has too many side effects and sometimes I prefer support animals to medicine if the situation calls for it.'

Emotional Support Animals is the way Figueroa and Ben Lamar went. “I also missed my pets {from home} too and um. I was struggling with a bit of anxiety at the time too. So I thought an ESA would be a good fit for me,” Lamar says.

That is not the only thing these two have in common- they both decided to adopt their ESA.

'I went to the Champaign County Humane Society. Usually they don't allow anyone under 21, but since he was an ESA they made an exception,” Lamar said.

Although the Champaign County Humane Society is 21 and over, there is an event sponsored by Dogs From Mars based in Chicago. This is open to all ages and is also in Champaign. They use the facilities at the local Pet Supplies Plus store and bring over 15 dogs and cats to the adoption event.

Virginia Felicetti, a senior who suffers from anxiety, says she would be interested in going to this event since she is currently looking for an ESA.

“I’d much rather adopt than buy, because there are just so many dogs in need of help.”

She believes an ESA may be the solution she’s been looking for.

“I've known a couple of people who have one and it has helped them. So hopefully it can help me too”

Sometimes healing can come from unexpected places like a 4 four legged animal and a wet nose.


Dogs From Mars hosting an adoption event at the Pet Supplies stores in Champaign, Il.


Adoption cat, Winnie, at an adoption event located at the Pet and Suppies Store in Champaign, Il.
Adoption cat, Mia, at an adoption event located at the Pet Supplies Store in Champaign, Il.












Watch my video here! (There are pets!)

Read my script 'here:'Script Assingment 4


Yay!! That would be my first thought while reflecting back on this project. My second thought would be that it is finally over! This project stressed me out like no other assignment I had. I started off strong and confident about my topic. I had so many plans about who to interview and what kind of shots I can get with my camera. Then slowly, about 5 of my sources bailed on me, I realized that McKinley does not do interview, and neither does the Counseling Center. So their went like 5 of my possible interviews. I was going crazy trying to find people to interview, and eventually found the 2 people who are mentioned above (Carolina and Ben) and then found someone who was looking for an ESA, which I thought was a perfect fit for my story. I really wish I would have picked a different topic, but I am overall happy with my final project. I am extremely excited for the next project! How-To videos! I can’t wait to start filming because I already have some ideas about what to do. I am trying not to pick the typical make-up tutorial and do something else!

More to explorer

It Has Come To End

Written by Jackie Dominguez When I was picking my classes for Spring 2020 my advisor suggested that FAA 110 would be a

Final Reflection of FAA 110

By Daniel Holley FAA 110 was one of the most interesting classes I’ve taken in my time at college. Since my time

One thought on “Just Paws & Breathe

  1. Demi,

    I really enjoyed your video package and thought it was a awesome idea to do, seeing that anxiety and depression are common things among students. I wasn’t aware that there were ways to get Emotional Support Animals around campus and I think it is a great thing, so the dogs and the people can both benefit from this. I like how people like Carolina, are exploring other options besides medicine.

    I’m sure you know that there were a few things that could’ve been touched up, but I really liked your b-roll in your package and how you actually got people who have emotional support animals. That dog was quite a character and made the video really enjoyable.

    If I were to give one piece of overall advice. I would say to plan ahead of time to make sure you get everything how you want it to be. I think many of us have good ideas and then sometimes they don’t always fall through. So it is good to be prepared!

    Overall, I thought your video package was a nice, feel-good story. I think you did a good job of establishing that this is a problem for students and that the emotional support animals can help aid the problem. Clever title as well! Nice job!


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: