You know tax season can be, well, taxing. Stephano Slack’s Fun Committee (and how many accounting firms do you know with a fun committee?) came up with an innovative idea to help reduce stress – puppies!

You see therapy dogs everywhere these days: in courtrooms comforting victims as they testify, in nursing homes soothing agitated patients, in schools giving a shy child confidence to read aloud. So why not at an accounting firm, giving the staff a break from the looming tax deadlines?

Stephano Slack’s Fun Committee recently invited the Providence Animal Shelter from Media, PA and Renee’s Rescues from Hockessin, DE to bring in some rescue puppies for a Friday afternoon of lighthearted play. The entire staff of both offices relaxed and socialized with six terrier mix puppies recently rescued from Puerto Rico.

“We are not the stereotypical stodgy public accounting firm. We take tax season seriously, but we also take the well-being of our staff seriously and this is the time of year stress can build up as long days stretch into the evening,” said Nick Ciocca, Partner.

The idea was a winner, judging by the feedback and the smiles on everyone’s faces.

“Who doesn’t want to play with a fuzzy little puppy? It’s unconditional love – you know the dog is not going to judge you,” said Jessica Flasher.

“I’d seen some research that playing with a pet can decrease stress, but I didn’t believe it until Friday,” said Sally Mininger. “Just taking a break with them gave me another burst of energy.”

In fact, research has found pet owners have lower blood pressure, lower stress levels, and increased odds of surviving at least a year after a heart attack. It all adds up to better mental and physical health, and that’s better for our employees and clients.

Shelter volunteers were enthused by the event as well, happy for a chance to socialize the pups and increase their adoptability exposure.

We’d call that a total success all around! We’re looking forward to the next idea to come out of the Fun Committee.



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