Pet-friendly dorms: School in Pennsylvania starts new initiative

(courtesy: Jack Petrich)

LOCK HAVEN, Pennsylvania – When Lock Haven University welcomes students back to campus in spring 2019, some may have their four-legged companions in tow.

The university will be the first in the Pennsylvania’s State System to introduce a pet-friendly residence hall.

“Students who are comfortable where they live have greater success and pets are a great source of comfort to many students,” said LHU North Hall Residence Hall Director, Emmy Borst.

“Studies show that students who feel at home on campus are the students that thrive both socially and academically,” Borst said.

LHU’s pilot program will allow students to bring their long-term pet, defined by LHU to have been under the primary care of the resident or their family for at least three months, to reside in their North Hall room.

Pets must be at least 6 months of age.

The university has implemented a policy with strict guidelines concerning the species, breeds and sizes of animals permitted. The policy defines allowable pets as cats, dogs under 40 pounds with breed restrictions, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs and fish.

Students must submit an application for approval and registration to reside with a pet prior to bringing an animal to campus. As part of the application, the university will require photos of the animal and current vaccination records and a certificate of spay or neuter for cats and dogs.

“Allowing students to bring their pets helps them feel more at home and hopefully help them transition successfully to college life,” Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Tyana Lange Said.

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