By Paula Ann Solis
Take a break and pet a puppy.
The Baylor Democrats will host a “Puppy Playtime” study break from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday on Fountain Mall. About 10 foster dogs from the Humane Society of Central Texas will visit with Baylor students on across from Moody Memorial Library.
President-elect of the Baylor Democrats Kimani Mitchell, a Schertz junior, said with final exams fast approaching Baylor students are in need of a stress reliever.
Mitchell, who also works as an intern for the humane society, said “Puppy Playtime” will serve as the last meeting for the Baylor Democrats but is an open event for the entire Baylor community to enjoy.
“This is just a great social, nonpartisan event that everyone can get behind,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said she hopes the event will also serve as an educational opportunity for students to learn about the humane society’s Foster Program, which Mitchell has previously taken part in.
The Foster Program, according to Mitchell, allows members of the Waco community to take an animal from the humane society’s shelter into their home until a “forever home” becomes available.
“It’s a pretty rewarding experience and it’s not too much work,” Mitchell said. “You just take the dog in for a short while like it’s your own.”
According to Desirae Warrant, the humane society’s Foster Program and Offsite Events coordinator, Baylor students have a long history of fostering.
“Of the almost 200 foster animals in Central Texas right now, about 30 of them are living with Baylor students,” Warren said.
Students with apartments who often feel homesick and miss their family pet are the best candidates for a foster home, Warren said.
Today’s “playtime” will give students an opportunity to meet both the animals available to foster and their current foster home providers who can explain in greater detail the process.
Applications will also be available for students who are interested.
“We are very excited,” Warren said. “This is an excellent way for us to promote our Foster Program and we hope that it can become a regular event at Baylor.”
Another focus for today’s playtime, Warren said, is to enlist more student volunteers who can help at the humane society and at offsite educational foster events like the one being hosted today.
Warren said word of mouth is the most powerful tool the humane society has right now for the foster program and many animals in the “urgent category,” those that reach their maximum stay at the humane society, need to be fostered before the humane society is forced to euthanize.
In accordance with Baylor policies for on-campus pets, the dogs will remain on a leash at all times and restrictions against certain breeds will be respected.
One breed prohibited from visiting Baylor’s campus, pit bulls, makes up 80 percent of the dogs in the humane society looking for forever homes.
Warren said the humane society has a special foster program for pit bulls that works to fight the stigma associated with the breed.
For more information on how to become a volunteer for the humane society or for more information on how to foster an animal, visit humanesocietycentraltexas.org or call 254-754-1454.