The lawn next to the Elon Community Church was filled with furry visitors during the sixth-annual Dog Day Mixer. Community members and students gathered for the two-hour event for free food and some quality time with an assortment of four-legged friends.

The event strives to fill the void that many Elon University students feel after leaving their childhood pets at home by providing dogs to play with and pet. Both students and community members show up with their dogs to enjoy the dog day.

“We do the Dog Day Mixer every year to give the students a chance to come out and pet the dogs,” said Lynne Horn, a member of Elon Community Church and former Elon student.

The event also featured live music as well as free dog food samples and other pet supplies provided by Nature’s Emporium.

Along with the members of the Elon Community Church, other local groups, including the Humane Society of Alamance County, helped facilitate the event.

Becca Chavis, the event coordinator for the Humane Society of Alamance County, said the event has helped circulate a lot of volunteer applications.

The Humane Society brought three dogs with them to the event to walk around and try to find an adoptive family. Students were able to learn about the fostering program and other ways they can help through volunteering.

Katie Van Patten, a Elon graduate student, brought her own dog, Buddy, who she has been fostering through the Humane Society. Van Patten has been keeping Buddy in her off-campus apartment while she participates in Elon’s Doctor and Physical Therapy Graduate Program.

“It could be more stressful than it is [having a dog while being a student], but he is really well trained,” she said. “It makes it a little hard to study because he wants to play.”

The event is also a good way for the Elon Community Church to welcome new students to campus.

Freshmen Carrie Meenan and Caroline Knuth used the event as a quick study break.

“I miss my dog at home, so it’s good to come here and see other dogs,” Meenan said. 

Both girls were delighted to spend time with some new furry friends and pet breeds such as Copper the Corgi, as well as mixed breeds from the shelter. 

“As soon as we walked in, a dog jumped up on us wanting to be pet,” said Knuth. “So that was fun.”