IPPSSA introduces first Hug a Pug fundraiser to raise money for local dog rescue

With the end of the fall semester in sight and stress levels rising, University of Ottawa students had the perfect opportunity to unwind with some pug loving on Friday, Nov. 18.

The U of O’s International Political and Policy Studies Student Association (IPPSSA) hosted their first Hug a Pug fundraiser outside of Father and Sons, an event that brought joy to students and locals alike.

The fundraiser was brought to life by three philanthropic pugs: Max, Jozy, and Pierre.

The pugs greeted people as they passed by and won over the hearts of many as they were held and passed between students.

If one thing was clear about the event, it was that the students loved it. Energy was high, smiles were numerous, and any sort of collective stress about upcoming exams seemed to disappear as students got to enjoy hanging out with Max, Jozy, and Pierre.

“Most students don’t have dogs, so we thought if we brought dogs to campus it would be a huge hit,” said IPPSSA president Matthew Don Trapp. “You can see the reactions and it has been super successful.”

Don Trapp and his fellow IPPSSA members partnered with Under My Wing, a local pug rescue organization, to raise awareness and donations for the organization. Under My Wing, which was founded in 2006, has been responsible for relocating 417 pugs in Ottawa to their permanent homes.  

“Our big hope with doing this is that we will increase exposure for Under My Wing, so more people will apply to be foster families or to adopt, as well as helping them raise money.” said Don Trapp.

Two high-ranking members of Under My Wing, founder and president Genevieve Boucher and vice-president Donnie LeClaire, also attended the event with their pugs Jozy and Pierre.

LeClaire, a huge fan of the event, said “I think it’s a fabulous event because I have never seen so many happy smiling faces.”

The event’s success was twofold. IPPSSA raised just over $750 in donations, all of which will go towards the Under My Wing foundation to assist with the medical bills and fostering of the pugs, and raised additional money through the sale of pug merchandise.

Not only did the event do well in terms of donations, but it turned out to be one of IPPSSA’s most highly anticipated events to date. “In terms of pure social media engagement, it exploded and reached levels we haven’t seen before,” said Don Trapp.

Only time will tell if the U of O will be reunited with Max, Jozy, and Pierre, but with the pugs’ debut appearance garnering so much success, it wouldn’t be surprising.  

If you are interested in donating to Under My Wing or adopting a pug, please visit their official website.