By Travis Richmiller
After having a hard day at school, while heading back to your dorm room, have you ever had the urge to be greeted by your favorite pet? But as you wish this would come true you think to yourself, “I can’t possibly bring my pet on campus and have him live in the dorms with me.” Well that’s not necessarily the case.
According to the American’s Disability Act, if you are a student that is struggling emotionally, and have the right documentation from a health care professional, you are allowed to have your very own pet on campus. These pets are referred to as emotional support animals.
Christine Tracy, director of the Student Success Center, is the person you would have to speak to about getting permission to have your emotional support animal on campus. Tracy will need to see documentation from a healthcare professional. Once that is completed she will notify housing and your animal is allowed to stay with you on campus.
Tracy has noticed good things come from students that have their very own furry companion on campus.
“Everyone who has brought in an emotional support animal has done well academically and socially,” Tracy stated.
Freshman nursing student, Haylee Martin, has her dog, Ava, as her emotional support animal. Unfortunately for Martin, her family dog that she’d had since she was little had recently passed away. It was hard on her and her family. So before she left for school she found Ava through a Facebook post, and received the right documentation to have her on campus with her.
Ava has helped Martin in many ways. She has noticed that Ava has been a major stress reliever.
“She is good at detecting when I’m not feeling the greatest,” Martin said, “and she’ll love up on me when I’m feeling down, and I pet her and she instantly makes me happy.”
Martin believes that it is a good idea to allow students to have their emotional support animal accompany them on campus, and has noticed a lot of benefit from it.
“Having Ava to come back to is reassuring after a long day,” Martin stated.