While you might be able to sneak a fishbowl into your dorm room, pet friendly colleges are far and few between. Some schools do have limited housing where students can keep certain pets, but a 2011 Kaplan Test Prep survey of admissions officers found that 90% of schools had no dogs on campus policies.
One enterprising dog lover who quickly realized that students miss their pets while they are away at school has started a service that allows people to rent a puppy on an hourly basis.
Jenna Miller, a 20-year-old Brigham Young University student, told Good Morning America that she helps people interact with pets for $15 to $25 per hour. According to Provo’s Daily Herald, Miller’s business – Puppies for Rent – is legitimate. She received assistance from her brother, who is an attorney, to work out the contracts, waivers and fees. She then obtained a business license.
Apparently the demand to rent a puppy is out there. Miller told KUTV she hung a flier on campus and received four calls later that day.
Her operation has its fair share of critics, such as Bill Berloni, a dog behaviorist from the Humane Society of New York who says that renting puppies not only objectifies them but can also be damaging to the dogs because their role models are constantly changing.
Despite the opinions of skeptics, Miller’s ultimate goal is to place the 8- to 12-week old puppies – who are generally adopted from animal shelters as well as people who bought them and changed their minds – in permanent homes. The plan seems to be working. Miller tells the media that all 11 of the puppies she has rented have been adopted.
While Miller’s business has made headlines over the past few months, the concept is nothing new. Veterinarians and volunteers often bring therapy dogs to hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities to help provide patients with a bit of cheer and optimism during an otherwise dismal day.
Colleges have also been known to bring a few dogs and puppies on campus during exam weeks, which can be a stressful time for students.
Yale Law School even has Monty, who makes appearances for students who book 15-20 minute sessions to feed him cookies and scratch his ears. Cooper hangs out at Harvard Medical School, where he helps frazzled students crack a smile.
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.
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