Mindful Monday – Pets and Higher Education

Did you have a cat in your dorm room when you went to college? More and more colleges are assisting students in making the transition from home to the higher education community by allowing them to bring their pets. Colleges in North Carolina, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, and other states have opened their doors to pets and they allow most any small animal. One university even housed a pair of ducks for a pair of roommates one year.

Evidently colleges already allow support animals for students with physical and emotional disabilities. But for many, the idea of welcoming pets for the general population is new. So if your child or grandchild is heading off to college and having trouble with the idea of leaving the family, you might look into the possibility of him or her packing up the family dog or cat to keep them company.

Naturally, there are rules and regulations. For example, the pet-friendly dorms are separate from the rest of the community of dorms. There are certain rules to protect students who are allergic to animals, such as, you must wash the pet’s bedding in a designated area so as not to endanger students with serious allergies.

The array of pets students keep is rather surprising. Aside from the usual cats and dogs, students are relying on pet ferrets, fish, gerbils, rabbits, and lizards for companionship and comfort. There are even tortoises, snakes, rats, and spiders sharing dorms with students.

Did any of you have a pet while attending college? I mean legally—legitimately. If you could have had one, what would you choose?


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