Calls have been growing across the University for a ban on puppy therapy sessions for students after revelations that several dogs have been traumatised.
Dr Cameron Bridgeworth said: “Coming into contact with so many overworked and overstressed Cambridge students was clearly too much for many of these puppies. Many are no longer able to complete simple tasks, such as looking cute and appearing in Instagram photos.”
One former puppy-therapy dog, Barkus Atherton, said that he believed the sessions were cruel. “People who are feeling stressed should be taken to see qualified therapists, not puppies. The students who would come to see me had unrealistic expectations, as responding to tales of essay crises and nightmare supervisions is not in my skill set. This led to me going barking mad myself in 2016.
“We can’t all look like the Andrex puppy all the time”, he said, adding “don’t get me started on so-called cat people.”
Critics have called on the Cambridge Union, which held the puppy therapy event last week, to help rehabilitate the puppies, with some suggesting sending them to duckling therapy.
Responding to criticism, Union President Emily Milton said: “In the interest of animal welfare, we have been looking into the possibility of giving the puppies free access to certain Union events such as chocolate-tasting sessions and talks from Michael Heseltine and Cruella de Vil.”