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 UMD News Releases

Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

December 8, 2014
Dori Decker | Health Educator | UMD Health Services | 218 726-7046 |
Lori Melton | Communication Associate | External Affairs | 218 726-8830 |

Media Advisory: Miniature Horses Visit UMD As Part of Pet Away Worry and Stress (PAWS) Event

When: Tuesday, Dec. 9 from 11 am-1 pm
Where: UMD Kirby Lounge

DULUTH, MN — Two miniature horses will visit the University of Minnesota Duluth on Tuesday, Dec. 9 from 11 am–1 pm as part of UMD’s Pet Away Worry and Stress (PAWS). The horses, Spanky and Peanut, are American Miniature horses. Spanky is 31" tall at the withers (shoulder) and Peanut is 28" tall. UMD students are invited to take a break during the week before finals to pet the horses and meet their handlers.

The horses belong to Polly Knoll Niemi and her husband, Gary Niemi. They have trained Spanky and Peanut to be therapy horses. Both horses are registered with Pet Partners Therapy Animal Program and are ambassadors for The Windchill Legacy Ltd, a 501c3 non-profit organization, which the Niemis helped found.

Spanky and Peanut visit schools and assisted living centers. “Horses have a very special connection with people, and Peanut and Spanky are wonderful ambassadors for our program,” Polly said. She is a retired science teacher. Part of The Windchill Legacy mission is to teach children to properly care for animals.

This event is sponsored by Animal Allies, KUMD, Kathryn A. Martin Library, UMD Employee Wellness and Health Services. Volunteer support provided by SERVE.

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