Should Western should allow pets on campus?

Kalen Stanford, Courier Staff

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When I wake up for class in the morning, it is usually to the sound of my cat meowing at me, asking for food. While I have my cat in my dorm room because she is my emotional support animal, I think the dorms should allow pets for everyone.

Now you may think it would be a disastrous plan, but overall, I think there would be far more benefits. I think in general pets make people happier and give us a reason to get up and start our day. Having pets in the dorm, while it could be a bit noisier, would be a great way to help college students enjoy their time at college more.

I know personally, when I get back from class I tend to just lay in my bed or take a nap. When you have a pet, it is more likely that you would stay up and play with them, or take them on a walk. When you have a reason to get up and walk, I think it ultimately helps you stay motivated in the long run. Basically, everyone I know has a pet they would love to bring to school to keep them company. Another benefit of having pets on campus includes expanding your social group. Everyone knows it is easier to talk to people if they are walking their dog. I think it could connect us more as a community and campus if we had more pets. Having this benefit could also help give homes to shelter animals.

When it comes to the more serious side, rules for having your pets would have to be strict. I think if you have a pet that is established (potty trained, no barking, non-aggressive, etc.) you should be allowed to keep them with you. Obviously, everyone would be fully responsible for their own animals and face repercussions if they are mistreated or disrupt others. I think allowing only one or two pets would be okay so long as they are being cared for. If you have pet allergies, there could be designated floors for you. Another reason why this could be a could idea is it would normalize all pets on campus. When you have a class with a service animal, you usually get excited and want to pet it because you rarely see animals. With this update, it would be more common to see animals and get to play with them more often. This would also be helpful to those who own service animals, keeping people from petting their working animal.

While it may be a little more work for everyone, I think allowing pets on campus and in the dorms would be beneficial for most people. I know most college students love animals and wish we had more contact with them to make us happier. Having pets on campus would boost overall morale and give us all a reason to look forward to classes and other events.

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