ABC News’ Abbie Boudreau, Natasha Singh and Jesus Ayala report:
A student at Brigham Young University in Utah is renting out puppies on an hourly basis in an effort to place the dogs in good homes.
“We’re not allowed to have pets in college and a lot of people miss the interaction, so it was something I wanted to solve,” Jenna Miller, 20, told “Good Morning America,” explaining the rationale behind her service.
She gets the puppies from people who are giving up their pets.
For $15, a client could rent Toast, or his rambunctious friend Charly, for one hour. For $25, the client would get to spend two hours with one of the 11-week-old mixed breed puppies.
“Our goal is to place the puppies in good homes. We’re taking puppies that would otherwise be sitting in a cage, in a pound,” she added.
Bill Berloni, a dog behaviorist from the Humane Society of New York, does not agree. He says renting puppies is a step in the wrong direction and can be damaging to the dogs.
“It reduces them to things, things we use for our leisure,” he said.
He added that if a dog’s role model keeps changes, the animal will “have problems learning how to attach, they’ll be independent and harder to train.”
“GMA” went along as Toast was being delivered to a family that would rent him for an hour.
The renter thought it would be fun to play with the dogs.
Asked if puppy renting offered all of the perks with none of the responsibility, Miller replied: “I think that adoption is obviously a superior option, with the responsibility, but that’s just not an option for a lot of people and I think you have to recognize that and we are placing the dogs in homes.”
Summer Jones rented Douglas four weeks ago. She ended up adopting him.
“Having a puppy is a lot of work,” the Utah student said. “My mom has been really resistant about getting a dog, but I think me bringing him home and us renting him, the fact that we got to rent him and play with him, it softened my mom’s heart a little.”
Miller says all of the 11 puppies she has rented have been adopted. Her clients are mainly college students and families.
Rental helps to “create pet owners, people who thought they’d never have a dog. They rent a puppy, they see how much fun their kids have with it, they see the positive benefits of a dog,” she said.