On Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., UNC Helping Paws set up a Puppy Kissing Booth in the Pit, charging $1 per selfie and $5 per Polaroid.
First up was , a 6-month-old Instagram-famous golden retriever, on duty from 10 a.m. to noon.
Next came the mischievous, 4-month-old American bulldog named Ellie, who gathered a large crowd from noon until 1 p.m.
Closing out the booth was an old-timer: 11-year-old K.C. the sheltie, who has a particular taste for carrots.
Helping Paws is a student-run animal service organization that works closely with local animal rescues and the Orange County Animal Shelter to socialize animals with the community and prepare them for adoption.
“The first step is to get (new members) trained at the animal shelter; that way they can handle the animals at the shelter and things like that, and after that, if you sign up, you’re in.”
Sophomore Megan Anderson, co-chairperson of UNC Helping Paws, said that in just the first two hours, the kissing booth raised more than $200.
“Over the semester we’re bringing different animal rescue organizations into our meetings to speak with our members, and at the end of the semester our members are going to vote on who they want the money to go to,” she said.
Anderson, who is majoring in applied science in hopes of attending veterinary school in the future, got involved with UNC Helping Paws at FallFest when she was a first-year, and she encourages other students to participate as well.
The Pit was packed with excited animal lovers with a turnout of more than 50 people participating at midday.
Anderson assures that Helping Paws is planning more events in the future, so there will be plenty of chances for students to interact with furry friends.
The organization is also accepting donations, which will go toward the donation at the end of the semester to an organization of the members’ choice.
UNC students Hayley Gee, Annah Bachman and Amanda Kessler were some of the first in line.
“I feel like it relieves stress, too because you’re always tense and stuff,” Gee said.
Kessler, who didn’t have a dollar, was determined to get a picture.
“I mean, I forgot a dollar, but I’m gonna try to find one,” she said.
Bachman supported the sentiment, saying she hated leaving her dog.
“If I could bring my dog to school, I would,” she said.
Gee thought the event was a great way to lift spirits around campus.
“It just makes everyone happy to have dogs around,” she said.