Zeus’ Place provides much needed puppy love

A+student+participates+in+Zeus%27+Place%27s+dog+walking+program+on+Freret+Street.+Dogs+are+available+for+walks+every+day+of+the+week.

A student participates in Zeus' Place's dog walking program on Freret Street. Dogs are available for walks every day of the week.

Regina LoBiondo, Senior Staff Reporter

For many students, the most difficult part of coming to college is spending months away from the comfort of families and friends. But for others, the distance between campus and a pet at home is the toughest obstacle. When those old pictures and FaceTime calls with your dog aren’t enough and you just need some puppy love, there’s Zeus’ Place.

Located on the corner of Freret and Cadiz streets in an invitingly orange building, Zeus’ Place offers grooming and boarding services to local pet owners. It is also home to Zeus’ Rescues, a nonprofit organization that dedicates itself to ending pet homelessness and euthanasia. The organization takes pets from metro shelters and brings them to their Freret Street location to help place their cats and dogs in homes around the community.

According to Zeus’ Place employee Amy Barnes, Zeus’ Place shelters about eight to 10 rescue dogs at any time. The dogs can be there as short as one week to as long as eight months. Smaller dogs tend to get adopted more quickly, Barnes explained, while larger dogs take more time to find the right home. With more dogs than employees, Zeus’ Place relies on volunteers to give their rescues the extra love and attention they need.

Zeus’ Place offers community members the opportunity to volunteer by walking rescue dogs. Each week about five to 10 volunteers come to Zeus’ Place to walk dogs, mostly on weekends. While the organization appreciates that number, Barnes said she would like to see more volunteers come in on weekdays. 

While not advertised by the organization, word about this opportunity spreads quickly. Freshman Hayley Tyler said she heard about Zeus’ Place from a friend and immediately knew she wanted to be involved. 

“At first I wanted to go just so I could have a dog in my life again,” Tyler said. “But after talking to the owner of Zeus’ Place, she explained that every hour the rescue dogs weren’t in the kennel they were in heaven which made me realize how big of an impact I could have.”

Like Tyler, many walk dogs because they miss their own pets. Junior Emily Nappi said she volunteers to relieve stress and homesickness. Though many volunteers are pet owners, no experience is required. Zeus’ Place welcomes anyone who wants to walk dogs.

“We don’t know where they come from or who they are,” Barnes said. “They just come in and say ‘Hey we’re going to walk a dog.'”

Volunteers enjoy the experience so much they keep coming back. Zeus’ Place has a few regular dog walkers as well as others who stop in from time to time. Either way, people are excited about the opportunity and are eager to tell their friends.

“We’ve been telling everyone about it,” Tyler said, “Who would pass up the opportunity of having a dog all to themselves for the day?”