Puppies-for-Rent: One Provo Woman's Controversial Business Idea

Dec 17, 2012

It’s a sound that can lift anyone’s spirit and one Brigham Young University student is hoping to cash in on people’s love for puppies.

"Puppies for Rent is a company I started in August. And the purpose of the company is to help puppies to find homes. Basically we take puppies that would otherwise be in a pound, or basically puppies that people are trying to get rid of.  We rent them out to families and to students."

Jenna Miller, founder of Puppies for Rent
Credit Jenna Miller

Jenna Miller is the founder of Puppies for Rent, and for $15 per hour she will deliver a puppy to your home to play with.

"I love puppies! And also when I deliver them, it makes people so happy... and it’s super cute because they're squealing and they are so excited to see a puppy."

Jenna decided to start the business because most student housing in Provo and Orem will not allow pets to live in them. She says a lot of students rent a puppy to help them de-stress and relax.

Jenna gets the puppies from families that can’t take care of them anymore and keeps them in a relative's home in Orem. 

"These puppies are loved, they’re very well taken care of and the goal is to find them homes."

Although Jenna says she has the right intentions, some people aren’t happy with her business practice.

"This is not the right way. This is not the right way to treat an animal. They are not inanimate objects. They are living, breathing creatures with feelings and emotions. And you’re talking about animals who are at the formative stages of their life where they need consistency and they need stability."

That's Carl Arky, the communication director from the Humane Society of Utah. He says the danger of renting out puppies to complete strangers are too high to ignore.

"To put them into unsupervised situations with strangers, who have nothing more than a cursory screening is putting them at risk. Something bad is going to happen."

Carl says renting out a puppy is unethical.  

"These are puppies. These are babies. Would we give babies to people we don’t know and say ‘Here, go and see what it’s like to be a parent for an hour or two and pay us about 15 or 25 bucks and hopefully we will get the baby back ok.'  I wouldn’t do that, you wouldn’t do that, I don’t know anybody that would do that."

Even though some people disagree with Jenna’s business, she has helped place 11 puppies into homes because of Puppies for Rent.

"People often ask, 'What do you do with the puppies when they grow up?' And we haven’t had a problem with that at all. We’ve placed all our puppies by the time they are 12 weeks which is really fast."

Carl says you can get the same interaction and love from puppies at your local animal shelter, and do it for free.

"Save the money. Go volunteer at a shelter where they need you and they'll welcome your help."