Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Puppies help with finals, but these students need another lesson

Final exams are one thing that I am glad dogs don't have to deal with. But did you know that dogs can make finals easier on humans? Chapman University did more than offer midnight snacks and free coffee this year. They held an event called "Furry Friends for Finals." According to the student organizer, Jennifer Heinz, "It has been proven that having a dog helps relieve stress, so we thought it would be a cute idea if we brought some furry friends on campus." It sounds like a great idea!

I could have ended the story there, but when I find a neat event like this I usually like to profile the participating animal rescue organization. Well, through my investigative journalism skills, I learned that instead of picking up some homeless pups from a local shelter to share the stress relief with dogs in need, the student group rented, (yes, rented!) puppies from company that leases puppies from breeders for "puppy parties." The company charges $200 for 90 minutes of puppy party play time and $500 for 5 hours. Sorry, I am not going to be providing a link to this business.

The students should have reached out to their local shelter for some more meaningful playtime, while giving homeless pets some valuable socialization and cuddle time. Not only would that have been free, it would have been the right thing to do. If the student organizers from Chapman University are interested in doing this at the end of next semester, they should check out this list I compiled on Petfinder.com on all the animal rescue groups near the school. These students are onto something, but need another lesson.

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