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Students relax with Bloomington Animal Shelter puppies

POSTED AT 12:01 AM ON Apr. 27, 2012  (UPDATED AT 12:33 PM ON Apr. 29, 2012)

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Can I take it to class?,” “Look at his wrinkles!,” “She is so cute!” were just some of the lines heard in Dunn Meadow Thursday during Lutheran Campus Ministry’s first Rent-a-Puppy event.

LCM partnered with the Bloomington Animal Shelter to bring the puppies to campus.

“We wanted to find a way to give students a break during a not-so-dead dead week,” said Jeff Schacht, executive director for Lutheran Campus Ministry at IU.

If students provided $5 and a valid student ID or driver’s license, they could sign up for half-hour time slots with a puppy.

Students could look at pictures of dogs with their names, breeds and ages before they made their choice.

The 20 puppies were all available for adoption.

Laurie Ringquist, director of the animal shelter, said she was a little skeptical about being involved at first. However, she said the LCM seemed to be on top of things.

“We’ve not done an event like this before,” she said. “It really seems like they thought everything through. I think it’s awesome. The turnout’s been great.”

All the puppies were on leashes, and a few were fighting, but Schacht said the event
went smoothly.

“So far, everybody looks like they’re having fun and keeping the dogs in Dunn Meadow,” he said.

Those working the event provided toys and water bowls for the dogs.

People took pictures. Others tried to make their puppies do tricks.

Between the half-hour time slots from 1 to 5 p.m. and the number of puppies, Schacht said there were about 160 chances for quality playtime.

He said the registration for the event began at 12:30 p.m., but students started to line up at 12:05 p.m.

Freshman Emmalie Reif said when she registered at 12:15 p.m., there were already about 30 people in front of her.

Before 2 p.m., Schacht said there were time slots left only between 3 and 4 p.m.

Graduate student and LCM member Maureen Savage was the force behind the event.
She had participated in a similar endeavor with her honor fraternity Phi Sigma Pi during her undergraduate years at Western Michigan University.

“The immense response we got was overwhelming,” she said.

Her fraternity raised $700 to be split between the fraternity and the Kalamazoo Humane Society.

When the LCM brainstormed ideas for fundraising, she said this event immediately popped into her head. The proceeds will be split between the LCM and the animal shelter, she added.

She said she hopes to continue the event in the future, possibly once a semester.

“No one can resist a puppy, and it’s so fun to watch,” she said.

Once she finished with classes for the day, sophomore Stephanie Campbell headed to Dunn Meadow and picked a dog named Tigger.

“I thought it would be a fun little treat to relax a little,” Campbell said.

“I think it’s really fun. I want to take it home. I think they should do it more times a semester.”

Freshman Portia Goodin found out about the event through Facebook.

“It sounded like a good way to de-stress,” she said.

“I have a dog at home, and I miss her. They (the puppies) seem to be getting the maximum amount of love today.”

 

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