The University of Southern Indiana’s Sigma Tau Gamma raised over $700 in just six and a half hours Sept. 25 with their bi-annual Pet-A-Pup event held on the Quad.

Senior advertising major Eric Vergon said that this is the 5th year that the fraternity has hosted the event. They acquire the puppies from Warrick County Humane Society, but have previously acquired them from shelters in Henderson and Vanderburgh County. All of the money they collect goes back to the shelter. 

The event also helps puppies find homes after they come to the university.

“Last year we had two or three people who wanted to adopt those puppies and they actually went to Warrick and adopted them because they saw the puppies at USI,” the fraternity member said.

Vergon noticed the benefits for the university as well.

“I think it’s just another thing that USI can say that they do,” he said. “Host an event where they can say we pet puppies and it’s just something really cool and it looks really good for USI in general. I think the students in general just need a break sometimes and it all goes to a good cause.” 

Studies have shown that playing with or petting an animal can increase levels of stress-reducing hormones, oxytocins, while decreasing production of stress hormone cortisol. Hairo Rivas said that he noticed how much happier everyone at the Pet-A-Pup event was and how it helped students with their stress.

“I feel like it helps me de-stress,” the fraternity member and sophomore international business administration major said. “Especially with midterms right around the corner. It was just great to have those 20 minutes with the puppies. It felt awesome.”

Rivas said that with midterms around the corner, many students can easily feel overwhelmed by their extracurriculars, jobs and academics and that the puppies on the quad can help students take a break, even if it’s just for 20 minutes.

“It’s just a great thing for people to come out and support,” he said.

Rivas also believes that this event helps people see how important community is to the university.

“It shows a lot of unity,” he said. “You will see a lot of organizations supporting.”

The fraternity will be holding this event next semester as well.

“Just make sure you keep supporting because all of the money does go back to the organization that we got the puppies from itself,” Rivas said.