La Salle University hosted The Pre-National Dog Show event on campus, featuring a pet demonstration to generate excitement for Purina’s nationally televised dog show held annually in Philadelphia.
This marks the third year Purina has brought its Pre-National Dog Show to campus as part of the University’s ongoing transformation into a dog-friendly campus. Held during students’ free period and open to all La Salle community members, the event included a performance by the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Team and was followed by La Salle’s popular Executives on Campus panel, led by Purina associates.
“La Salle’s partnership with Purina has proven that campus life is better with pets,” said Cathleen Parsons-Nikolić, Vice President for University Advancement. “From this Pre-National Dog Show event to the opening of our dog-friendly residence hall, Purina continues to bring a unique and positive quality of life to our students and University as a whole and we are so grateful for this ongoing relationship”
A pre-show welcome brought out La Salle’s newest four-legged member, the unofficial mascot of the dog-friendly campus experience, Angus. Led by Charlotte Splendido, his handler, Angus has become a popular face around the University and makes appearances at many of the school’s games and events.
“Purina is committed to improving the lives of pets every day through quality nutrition and innovation, and our partnership with La Salle is a wonderful demonstration of our mission to enrich the lives of pets and the people who love them,” said Purina’s Director of Marketing Daniel Henke-Cilenti. “We enjoy bringing the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Team to La Salle each November to build excitement around The National Dog Show Presented by Purina and to celebrate the joy of having pets on campus.”
La Salle’s partnership with Purina began in 2017, founded on research that shows the positive effects pet companionship provide toward alleviating stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues for students.
“Research supports the benefits of pet ownership for health and stress management,” said Dr. Dawn Soufleris, Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at La Salle. “With the contributions provided to us by Purina, not only have we been able to give students the choice of living in the first dog-friendly residence hall in the Philadelphia area, but also provides students the chance to attend The National Dog Show and incorporate dogs into everyday life.”
Together, La Salle and Purina have worked to create an intentionally pet-friendly campus with multiple initiatives. These include “Pause for Paws,” a stress-buster held each semester leading up to finals week, and “Bring your Pet to Work Day,” an employee-benefits event. In Fall 2019, Purina provided the resources that helped La Salle open a dog-friendly residence hall on campus at St. George Hall, the first of its kind in the Philadelphia area. The renovations included a dog run, a pet-friendly public bathroom with a washing station, a pet-friendly common area, and more.
Said Soufleris, “We are thankful for Purina’s partnership with La Salle, especially in the area of wellness support for our students.”