Students flocked to the Bowl on Oct. 9 to take in some canine love.
Put on by the Edwards Business Students’ Society, the outdoor puppy room was the first of its kind at the University of Saskatchewan.
From 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., students lined up to get their share of time with a number of dogs provided for the event by New Hope Dog Rescue.
The dogs ranged in age from four months old to seven years.
Executive Director of New Hope Emily Pickett said the puppy room doubled as an adoption drive and that students were welcome to apply to adopt any of the puppies. At time of print, there have not been any adoptions, however Pickett said that there has been an increase in expressed interest.
Students were admitted into the puppy room after supplying a donation. Suggested donations included cash, postage stamps and office supplies as well as dog food, grooming equipment and dog toys.
Pickett said New Hope received most of the items on the wishlist as well as $1,197.20 in cash.
The money “will go a long way in helping rescue dogs in our program get the vet care they need,” Pickett said.
As part of her election platform, EBSS President Jacey Safnuk said she wanted to have a puppy room on campus. Once elected, Safnuk started working with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine to see how she could make her promise a reality.
Safnuk enrolled in a special class at the WCVM to certify her to handle the puppies.
To get around a university policy that does not allow dogs in select buildings — including Place Riel Student Centre and ESB — Safnuk organized for a tent to be set up in the bowl.
To ensure the dogs brought to campus would be safe and not come into any health threats, they were sheltered in a tent and students had to apply hand sanitizer to their hands before entering and after leaving the tent.
Puppy rooms started appearing last March when the University of Ottawa began providing a puppy room for its students. Following suit, universities across Canada and around the world — Bond University and Australian National University in Australia and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland — began hosting their own puppy rooms. The stress relieving rooms spiked in popularity last December when Dalhousie University hosted their first puppy room right in the middle of the busiest time of year for students. The puppy rooms were meant as a de-stressor for students.
Last year the possibility of a puppy room was brought to the University Students’ Council at the Dec. 6, 2012 meeting. Then-representative for the WCVM Alyssa Anderson said that puppy rooms are difficult to organize because of the strict regulations that Canadian Council on Animal Care requires.
The CCAC requires students, faculty, staff and senior administrators to be directly responsible for animal care and to have proper education and training when dealing with animals.
Because of the liability issues arising from the CCAC, the University Students’ Council did not proceed with the possibility of hosting a puppy room at that time.
Photo: Jordan Dumba/Photo Editor