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Puppy Room Program popular at PALS

photocredit: PALS
PALS newest program has been a tremendous success since it began in 2013. The Puppy Room program has been very popular at SAIT, University of Calgary, St Mary's University College and Ambrose University College, with both the students and the volunteers.

CAMPUS · MULTIMEDIA · NEWS

Pet-a-Puppy ‘bow-wows’ big campus crowd

by Ciara Green

October 11, 2013 at 11:02 am

SAITSA may about to go to the dogs – seriously.

The SAIT student association is apparently considering staging another Pet-a-Puppy event next spring, after the first-ever puppy room attracted a mob of stressed-out dog lovers on Thursday Oct. 10. The canine love-in was part of SAITSA’s Mental Health Awareness Day.

“We had amazing success. We had 30 people lined up before 10 a.m. to sign up for the puppy room,” said Vice President Student Life, Amanda Hanna. The room wasn’t scheduled to open until 11:30.

The puppy room originally had 315 spaces available for students to come and socialize with seven of man’s best friends. But by 1 p.m., more than 400 students got the chance to come and see the four-legged stars of the show.

“We’re looking at bringing the puppy room back next semester before exams. It’s still in the works though,” said a very cheery Hanna on Friday, Oct. 11.

Volunteers from the Pet Access League Society (PALS) were “overwhelmed by the gratitude” students showed towards the pups and were delighted by how happy students looked after their visit.

“You can see the reaction of people change when they come into contact with the dogs. They get a good energy from them,” said one of PALS volunteers who came and helped make the puppy room such a success.

“It was fun, I thought it was a great way to wind down especially with midterms next week,” said first year software development student, Ryan Mroczek.

In all, seven dogs were on hand for the event, including a Newfoundland, a border collie, a golden retriever, a bulldog and a Labrador-poodle cross.

While many of the students who took part were female, a sprinkling of guys also trekked through the puppy room, which took place in the Ambrosia Room, in the Student Centre.

Students were admitted in groups of about a dozen at a time. Each student had about 10 minutes to pat the pooches.

 

‘Puppy room’ promise leads to landslide victory for University of Calgary student

By Robson Fletcher  Metro Calgary

Puppy promises make good politics.

That’s one lesson Ben Cannon learned from his landslide victory in recent University of Calgary student union elections.

Cannon was elected vice-president student life with 55 per cent of the vote in a three-way race after making “puppy rooms” on campus a key part of his campaign platform.

 “It was probably my greatest selling point with students,” Cannon said. “Everybody seems very keen on the idea.”

Other Canadian universities have already adopted the idea, aimed at relieving students’ stress by giving them easy access to cuddly canines on campus.

“There’s no better way to relax than to snuggle up with a dog,” said Joan Andersen of Calgary’s Pet Access League Society, a non-profit group that provides pet therapy.

Debbie Bruckner of the U of C Wellness Centre said the university is already working with Cannon on the logistics of a puppy room.

“It’s something than can generate a lot of publicity, I feel, for the larger issue of student mental health,” Cannon said.