PROVO -- Brigham Young University students can now receive the unconditional love of dogs without breaking rules prohibiting pets in university housing.
Jenna Miller started her Puppies for Rent business in the Provo area as a way for students and others to rent puppies by the hour.
"College students aren't allowed to have pets and a lot of students really miss that, their pets back home," she told the Deseret News.
The pups have been rented for first dates and surprise parties, she said, and by mothers rewarding their children. After signing a contract, customers can rent them for $15 an hour, $25 for two hours and $10 for each additional hour.
"They're legally protected. We see where they are going and that they are going to a good place," Miller said.
The idea came after Miller heard about Yale Law School's pilot program last year allowing students to check out a "therapy dog" for 30 minutes at a time.
Carl Arky, spokesman for the Humane Society of Utah said his group is philosophically opposed to the business.
Puppies need consistency and stability in their lives, he said, and renting them to various people might adversely affect the animals' growth and development.
Miller said the animals are treated well and she has a 100 percent success rate so far finding them a permanent home. Money paid by renters goes toward adoption fees if they decide to own a puppy.
"We've had 11 (puppies) total. We've placed them all before they were 12 weeks old ... Most of them go to families," Miller told the Deseret News.
"So far we've had multiple people want every puppy so we've been able to be choosy. People come to us for them because they are so socialized and are good with people," she added.
All of the puppies originally came from people who bought them, but later returned them for various reasons. While not being rented out, the canines live on an Orem farm.
Several people currently help Miller deliver puppies to homes and take care of them.
"I can see how people would see it as a way to exploit puppies - that's not what we're doing," Miller said. "I was pleasantly surprised about how many people have been supportive."