Sunday, June 13, 2010

Pets in college = win-win

Companion animals on walks and drives with their people; companion animals at festivals and even (unfortunately) at fireworks displays. People and the animals in their families go more and more places together.

So for lots of reasons, it makes sense for companion animals to go to college too. A June 6 story in the NYTimes describes a few colleges where students’ pets are welcome too. The students involved report their delight at bringing their friends from home with them.

One college requires proof of cats being neutered or spayed; another limits dogs' weight to 40 pounds while prohibiting pit bulls, Rottweilers and wolf breeds at all times; a third institution allows a three-week grace period at the start of a term, during which pets must satisfactorily adjust to life in the residence hall or go home.

At some schools, pet councils exist to assure that students with pets follow established guidelines. At one, two students lost “dog privileges” last year because they weren’t “taking appropriate care.”

The popularity of companion animals accompanying their students has caused one college to renovate a dorm – now called “Pet Central” -- for students and their cats and dogs. Its first floor will include a kennel staffed by work-study students who will “offer temporary boarding and perhaps a bath.”

What could be more welcome than unconditional love during stressful times?


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