Ugh, No: Puppies Are Now for Rent in Provo, Utah
Would you like to rent a puppy? If you live in Provo, UT, you can rent one from Puppies for Rent for $15 for an hour, $25 for two hours, and $10 for each hour after that. You will probably be brought your dog by one four delivery people, who have been racing around town to keep up with demand, according to the Daily Herald.
What kind of demand? Renting a puppy for first dates is big.
"It's a great date activity," said Matt Long, a student. "I love dogs and rented Wesley the Maltese for a first date. It's a huge thing."
Student Danny Carney said, "I was hearing about Puppies for Rent and said I've got to do this on a date. I rented Douglas, a mixed Lab. They deliver anywhere and that's great because most of us students don't have cars. A couple of my friends have rented too."
Also popular is parents renting puppies for birthday parties, so the puppy can be passed around and around and around and around by a gaggle of children, maybe even toddlers, while the parents are encouraging everyone to have the best time ever and play with the puppy, lest the party be a failure.
And if the puppy is not feeling well or maybe just might not want to go from house to house as a plaything? Well, are you going to tell an angry mom that the puppy just won't make it to the birthday party today?
It helps to think of the puppy as a product, because that's what they are at Puppies for Rent, a product that needs to be delivered to the customer.
"Delivering puppies can wear you out," said Bradley Corry, who works for Puppies for Rent and attends college. "People always want us there on time."
Maybe we're in a bad mood, after reading Casey Lomonaco's recent article on puppy renting through the Hannah Society, but -- well, no, we're not. Puppy renting is always a terrible idea.
After this story broke early this week, plenty of news articles fawned over Jenna Miller, the young Brigham Young University student who started the company. Reports praised her business savvy, saying that she's filling a need in the community. Her brother is a lawyer, so she had all the proper waivers and contracts written up, making sure she's protected.
"There are contracts, delineated liabilities that put responsibility and good care on the renter," reads a line from the Herald story.
The responsibility for good care is on the renter. Not on the business owner. The business owner just moves the product.
Most of the stories stuck with cuteness factor of the whole thing -- aw, you can rent a puppy! -- and tacked on the lone dissenting voice at the end, courtesy of the Humane Society of Utah. Here it is:
"It's the whole concept of renting puppies out, at a time when they need consistency and stability in their lives. We're philosophically opposed to that," said Carl Arky, the director of communication for the Humane Society.
We are, too. Miller is not. According to the Daily Mail, Miller sees it "a solution for the overpopulation of unwanted dogs in the Provo area ... she says her program has had a 100 percent success rate in finding the animals a loving and permanent new home."
"We haven't had any that have been over 12 weeks," she says of their adoption rates. "People have snatched them up pretty quick."
Bear in mind that she is not running a adoption program. Or a foster program. She's running a puppy renting business. The fact that the puppies get adopted is a nice result, but it is not the point of the business. The point is to make money renting puppies.
Being passed around town to be poked and prodded by strangers -- or being asked "perform" at birthday parties for hordes of screaming children -- is no way for a puppy to live. Puppies need consistency and stability, and the chance to form lasting emotional bonds with people.
Besides, who do you think is renting these dogs? People who don't have dogs -- and people who might not know how to behave with a dog. And what's to stop some wacko from renting the puppy?
What do you think? Is puppy renting a bad idea? (It's a bad idea.)
Via the Daily Herald