Staff Council exploring idea of dog day care on campus

The Staff Life committee of Staff Council is exploring how much interest there would be in a dog day care on the Oakland campus for faculty and staff to bring their pets.

A Qualtrics survey is open now through July 17. It asks employees how many dogs they have and what dog care services they have previously used, such as day cares, boarding, dog walking and more. It also has areas to comment on your experience with these services.

The survey queries what qualities, products or types of service you seek when considering a dog day care, how much you have paid in the past and how much you would be willing to spend on dog day care at Pitt. And finally, it has space to comment on the advantages and concerns about an on-campus dog day care.

Samantha Young, Staff Life chair and professional and graduate programs alumni coordinator at the School of Pharmacy, said she “started this process very selfishly. I adopted a dog over COVID and I was with her 24/7/365 until I had to come back to campus three days a week.”

The dog now stays with Young’s parents while she’s at work. “I feel that if we have a dog day care on campus, it will be so much easier to bring her with me on the days that I am working and to know that she is being cared for like I (or my parents) would.”

Another Staff Council member Jenny Huff said she volunteered to assist with this proposal because she has a dog and spends much of my free time engaging in dog advocacy and positive reinforcement training.

“I have experience with utilizing dog day cares and can say that it is challenging to find a place that is conveniently located to work and provides the support my particular dog needs,” she said. “My goal in assisting with this proposal is to offer services to those who have dogs at home and want to provide a more enriching experience for their pets while away.”

She said that even though options exist outside of the University for such services, they are not always accessible or affordable for many staff and faculty. “I think it is important that we as an institution recognize how vital our canine companions are to our overall well-being as employees, and provide us with opportunities to care for them as such,” Huff said.

— Susan Jones


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