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New York Grad Student Offers Park Goers A Chance To Rent A Dog

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) -- A New York City graduate student has come up with a novel method of raising money for her favorite charity.

Katherine Long operates a 'Rent-A-Dog' business in Central Park. When Long lived in New York she had always wanted to own a dog, but the cost of living, and the pace of life in the city prevented that from happening.

"When I lived in New York City, I always wanted a dog, but knew my apartment and lifestyle in New York would not work with a dog. But I always thought it would be great to have access to a dog temporarily while in the park," she told DNAinfo.

Long set up shop in Central Park with her Collie-retriever 'Ocho' and a handmade 'Rent-A-Dog' sign. For $5, customers could take Ocho for a twenty-minute walk.

Proceeds from Long's 'Rent-A-Dog' operation will be donated to the Ruff Start Rescue, the shelter that brought Ocho to New York.

"Not only is it an amazing idea, but it was awesome that she did it. It's like multi-tasking. I'm very grateful to her," said Lori Canale of Ruff Start.

In her first day of operation Long raised over one-hundred dollars, but perhaps more important than the money is the service that she provides.

"Every single person who stopped by had a great big smile on their face. I had families rent for their kids, couples rented who were considering adopting their own dog, and of course the single guy used it as a ploy to perhaps attract a date," she told DNAinfo.

And while some New Yorkers may be concerned that a stranger could just walk off with a beloved pet and never return, Long said that she isn't worried.

"I lied, I said I have a tracking device on him," she said.

Long is planning to set up shop in Central Park again on July 1, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. inside the West 85th Street pedestrian entrance.

Will you be stopping by to take Ocho for a walk? Let us know in our comments section below...

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