If you talk to anyone who has seen me walking around downtown, they’ll probably tell you one thing: My dog Ravi is never far behind. Over the past two years, Ravi and I have become best friends. I know there are many people out there who prefer life without pets for one reason or another. Others feel the same way about having children. But whatever your stance is on pets, the benefits of owning, say a dog, are well documented.
Looking to spread these benefits amongst her classmates, one former Brigham Young University student founded Puppies for Rent in 2012. Founded by Jenna Miller, the Provo-based service, which recently opened second and third locations near Utah State University and the University of Utah, respectively, rents puppies by the hour.
According to an article at Fox Business, business has doubled over the past five months and appointments now need to be booked three days in advance. The goal of Puppies for Rent, which rents puppies for $15 an hour, $25 for two hours and another $10 each hour after that, is to find permanent homes for each of the pups that typically come from unexpected litters or from dog owners who can no longer take care of the puppy. To date, the company has had a 100% success rate.
The concept of Puppies for Rent was inspired by “puppy therapy” programs at Yale University which have been shown to increase happiness, emotional well-being, and calmness among students. In addition to college campuses, Puppies for Rent also visits local retirement homes “to allow residents to enjoy the benefits of spending time with the young dogs.” Although there has been some backlash from members of the Humane Society, the criticism has been minimal. In fact, in two years, the business has not had a single incident of a puppy being harmed.
So is there good news on the horizon for cat lovers looking to rent? Unfortunately, no. Miller says the company currently does not have any plans to offer kittens for rent.