A kitten leapt from a pair of hands and darted across the cement, running past a goat, a pig, and some chicks. With a large jump, the kitten reached its destination: a warm, soft blanket nestled on top of a stone ledge. Several onlookers gasped with affection before returning to petting their own animals.
Last Sunday on the Susie’s patio, the Student Activities Board hosted an event with Barn Babies, a traveling petting zoo. Many small animals, including puppies, kittens, bunnies, chicks, ducklings, and goats, were brought on campus for students to cuddle and play with.
“Animals brighten everyone’s day, which, in the end, is what events like this are about, right? Without these, the weeks would be a lot harder to get through… Bright spots like this, even though they’re small and far between, make up a lot of our good experiences on campus,” said attendee Daniel Dominguez ’21.
The animals provided students on campus with a good outlet to relieve stress from the past week and an opportunity to connect with animals.
Emilia Sanz-Rios ’22 said, “You get to bond with all these really cute animals… Making those types of connections seem pretty important. They’re nice for coping or relaxing. Also, I know a lot of boarders are missing their pets back home, and this is kind of a nice connect back to pets back home.”
The Barn Babies event brought the community together, attracting both students and faculty families alike to play with the small animals.
“I feel like it’s great because animals create a sense of family and it brings people together. Animals create a bond with both you and the people around you, bringing them all closer together in a way. It’s just good, overall,” said Ray Shoemaker ’20.