Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

October 26, 2016   |   Ithaca, NY


Editorial: College students should not own prohibited pets

Many students may have an affinity for animals or may come from a household in which they were accustomed to owning pets. But, excluding special circumstances, owning a pet on campus is prohibited, and students should respect this rule for both themselves and the well-being of the animals.

Pets need attention, and college students are busy. Students should not have to sacrifice their time and energy otherwise spent on class work and extracurricular activities so they can care for a pet they shouldn’t own to begin with. At the same time, pets should not have to be subject to neglect because students have to spend too much time away from them due to educational and work obligations. Animals are not stuffed animals. They need to be with owners who are able to prioritize them.

Moreover, students often don’t consider the cost of keeping a pet. Not only does the cost of food add up over time, veterinary bills can be outrageously expensive — sometimes costing hundreds of dollars depending on the procedure. If a pet becomes ill, it is necessary that the student be able to afford to take care of it instead of having to let it suffer or put it down because they didn’t have the money to do anything otherwise. All animals deserve to live long and content lives, and the truth is, most college students simply cannot provide this.

There may be some students who believe they have the time, energy and money necessary to devote to a living creature, but the bottom line is having these animals on campus or in a building that does not allow them is prohibited. If students feel that they need to have a pet, there is a process set up that they can utilize to get a pet approved. Ithaca College has a process in which students with mental health needs can request to have a pet live with them as a stress reliever. There’s also Guiding Eyes for the Blind, in which certified students can raise a puppy to become a guide dog.

Outside of that, these animals should be left to be adopted by people who actually have the appropriate amount of time and money to commit to them, and odds are, these people are not college students.