Rent-A-Puppy event returns to NAU
By Amber George
The sound of tiny paws returned to Northern Arizona University (NAU) this past Thursday as the Rent-A-Puppy event made its way back to the Latter-day Saints (LDS) center on south campus. The previous year, students from the Educational Foundations 200 class organized the event to help raise money for the Children First Academy, which is a school for underprivileged children in Tempe.
This year, however, freshman biomedical major, Kaitlin Byrne, and several other Honors 100 students put on the event. Money was raised for the Coconino Humane Association (CHA) as students and staff were brought together to play with adorable puppies.
“I want the booth to raise a significant amount of money for the shelter,” said Byrne. ”I also hope that, by bringing animals to campus, students and faculty who can’t keep animals at NAU have a great time. Nothing brightens your day like a little one-on-one puppy time.”
Byrne organized the event with the help of the humane society, who regularly allow people to rent a few of their puppies for the day. While the group of Honors 100 students helped organize and advertise the event in hopes of raising money for the CHA, Byrne created the Facebook event to reach out to students and gain their support for the cause. Over 100 people confirmed they were coming, and many sent in time reservations to assure their spot with a puppy. Those who wanted to partake in the event could show up any time between 11:00am and 3:00pm, and pay for a time slot to play, train, cuddle and love the adorable puppies.
The CHA does not expect Rent-A-Puppy to influence adoptions, but events like these do help spread awareness about the human society and due to pet restrictions in the dorms, the event is a hit at NAU and makes for good play time for the puppies.
“Regardless of the money collected at the booth, the fact that the puppies are receiving quality human interaction will allow them to be adopted quicker for families looking for a friendly, lovable animal,” Byrne said.
At Rent-A-Puppy this past Thursday, there were 12 different rentable puppies to choose from. Within the four hours the event ran, there was never a time when a puppy was not being played with. Even before the booth opened, there were people waiting patiently in line in hopes of renting a furry friend.
Taylor Bergan, a freshman exercise science major, was one of many who attended the event.
“I had a lot of fun at Rent-A-Puppy because I miss my dogs in Oklahoma,” said Bergan. “It was a great chance to spend some time with puppies while giving money to a good organization.”
The Rent-A-Puppy event ended up raising just under $500 in donations for the CHA. Byrne is ecstatic of the turnout, and said she hopes to see the organization use the money to “continue providing excellent care for all of the animals they house, as well as advertise more for adoptions.”
Every student who came to the event left with a smile on their face, eager for the return of more adorable puppies. The humane society allows for any group willing to organize the event to host and take part in Rent-A-Puppy, and the CHA is happy to aid in setting up events. Any clubs or groups interested in hosting the event should contact the CHA for more details. Although the association does not host the event in the winter in order to keep the puppies out of the cold, the CHA is always open to donations and volunteering.
Be on the lookout for more Rent-A-Puppy events in the near future. With the success of the event so far, more furry friends are bound to return to NAU for the students to play with.