by Jillian Atelsek
Students who were happy to stumble upon a field of puppies while walking to class Thursday afternoon have Phi Alpha Delta, a pre-law coed fraternity, to thank.
The group was hosting “Puppies with PAD,” an event aimed at raising money and awareness for the PG County Animal Shelter. In partnership with members of the fraternity, volunteers from the shelter brought a group of adoptable dogs to McKeldin Mall for anyone to play with and pet.
The event attracted large numbers students, some of whom were among the 1,000 who indicated their interest on Facebook, and some passersby who wanted to see what was drawing the large crowd.
“Puppies are a good [way to] de-stress,” said Marsha Marroquin, a junior economics major who learned about the event online and planned in advance to come. “I just love animals, and I have a dog of my own at home.”
Marroquin said she thought college students get especially excited about dogs on campus because many students miss their pets while away from home.
The volunteers from the shelter agreed with her assessment, and added that shelter animals often suffer from a lack of attention and human interaction.
“It’s a win-win,” JoAnne Brown, the volunteer coordinator for the PG County Animal Shelter, said of the combination of college students and shelter dogs. “The kids love the love, and the dogs love the love. How are you gonna lose with that?”
Brown explained that the shelter has partnered with fraternities and sororities on campus in the past, and that it has yielded high numbers of students eager to volunteer to help walk and take care of the shelter dogs.
Angela Jacob, a sophomore journalism major and Community Service Chair for PAD, was one of the driving forces behind the event. She began coordinating the event in January.
“I feel like a lot of students here have dogs at home, and they know how to spend time with them,” Jacobs said. “These dogs just don’t get that kind of attention on a regular basis.”