03/14/2013 03:09 EDT | Updated 03/14/2013 03:40 EDT

'Puppy Room' Election Promise Means Landslide Win For University Of Calgary Student


If a politician promised you a puppy, would you vote for them?

University of Calgary student Ben Cannon landed the role of Student Union vice president student life after promising a 'puppy room' to students as a key part of his campaign platform.

“Work on the puppy room starts tomorrow,” Cannon told the Gauntlet, moments after his win.

“If I don’t follow through on the puppy room, I’m going to be hung in the south courtyard,” he joked.

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Students Love Puppy Rooms

Cannon's puppy promise was based on an idea adopted by other Canadian universities, who brought cute canines to campus to help reduce student stress levels.

“It was probably my greatest selling point with students,” Cannon told Metro Calgary. “Everybody seems very keen on the idea.”

Dalhousie University was the first school to experiment with a 'puppy room' last fall, and it was a huge hit.

More than 500 students took time to visit dogs brought to campus by a local chapter of animal therapy organization, Therapeutic Paws Of Canada. The school also shuttled students to the nearby SPCA so they could spend time with animals there.

Debbie Bruckner with the U of C Wellness Centre told Metro the university is working with Cannon to figure out how to bring dogs to campus.

“It sounds kind of like a silly idea at first but it’s proven scientifically, I mean, it raises your dopamine levels in your brain, lowers your blood pressure. There’s just something about it – there’s a reason why dogs are a man’s best friend,” Cannon told CBC Calgary of the healthful benefits behind the idea.

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