Here are some of the items auctioned at Temple University's annual Owl Club fund-raiser after Saturday's big game against St. Joseph's University:

A barbecue with former head basketball coach John Chaney.

A getaway weekend in Cape May.

A nine-week-old golden retriever puppy.

It is illegal in Pennsylvania to auction one of the above.


Under state law, only a licensed kennel is permitted to put a dog up for bid.

That was news to Temple University officials today.

"We were not aware of it," said Larry Dougherty, sports information director, when informed by an Inquirer reporter. "Obviously, it was unfortunate that no one checked."

The sight of a puppy being paraded on the noisy gym floor before the game stunned some fans.

Bill Gardner, of Langhorne, and his son-in-law Mike Renshaw, of Chambersburg, said they were mystified at first. Alumni of St. Joe's and Temple, respectively, they knew the pooch was not a mascot for either school.

Then they saw "adorable puppy" listed in the live-auction brochure.

"I thought it was a bad idea," said Gardner, whose wife is a member of the state dog-law advisory board and president of the board of the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter in central Pennsylvania. "College kids can be a little irresponsible, and there's no way to check references or where it's going."

Bill Smith, founder of Main Line Animal Rescue in Chester Springs, has turned down requests by groups seeking to adopt dogs from his shelter for charity auctions.

"When someone's thinking about adopting a dog, they need to it give consideration and thought, not buy it on a whim," said Smith, who said he once took in a puppy that a drunken patron of a fund-raiser had handed to a parking attendant.

The puppy auctioned after the Temple-St. Joe's game, donated by a breeder whose name Dougherty did not know, apparently has lucked out.

The high bidder was none other than Dawn Staley, Temple basketball coach and former WNBA star, who paid $700 for the purebred dog.

"It's going to a tremendous home," Dougherty said.

The retriever will be the last dog going up on the auction block at Temple.

"Now that we know about it, we will not be auctioning off any cute puppies anymore," he said.

That's not the end of the story for the university, which could face a citation from the state for violating the dog law.

"We will investigate the situation," said Chris Ryder, a spokesman for the Bureau of Dog Law.