Packs of pooches roamed the north lawn of the Hartshorn Health Service on Wednesday afternoon, in celebration of the 4th annual “Stomp, Romp and Wag” event.
Gwen Sieving, health educator at Hartshorn Health Service, said by talking with smokers, they discovered pet safety was an issue that sparked smokers’ interest about the negative effects of secondhand smoke.
“Lots of people know how secondhand smoke happens, but they don’t think about how it negatively affects their pets,” said Susan Linderborg, a health and exercise practicum student.
Linderborg said secondhand smoke can cause respiratory problems in birds,
oral cancer in cats from licking nicotine off their fur and itchy skin in dogs, which is often confused with fleas or food allergies.
Kathy McKinney, a social work graduate student, brought her West Highland Terrier, Gillis, to the event and shared her concern.
“I also have a parrot at home, and I wasn’t aware that the toxins from cigarettes could cause oral cancer in birds,” McKinney said.
Apart from being educated on the adverse effects of second hand smoke, participants also had opportunities to engage in activities such as free nail clippings, dog silencing, and free dental and health checks. Walrus Ice Cream was also available for just the pets. Other activities included a doggy look-a-like contest and Doggy Idol, which both provided prizes for the winners.
Brian Lee, senior natural resources major, brought his girlfriend’s dog, Norm, out to the event. Lee said Norm’s favorite part of the event was the ice cream.
“It is a great chance to get him out on campus and out of the house where he can be around other dogs,” Lee said.
Elena Ulyanova can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org