Thursday, March 6, 2008

Advantages and Disadvantages to Having Pets on Campus


By Jennifer Ingram
Critic Staff

In the past, Lyndon had an open policy that allowed faculty, staff, and students to bring their pets to campus. Recently Lyndon has changed their policy and now no longer allows pets on campus which has brought up much discussion and debate. In a recent survey that was done at Lyndon there were many reported advantages and disadvantages to bringing pets on campus.

Helping Dogs
In the past there was a professor that had a severe case of diabetes so therefore she brought her dog with her. The dog’s responsibility was to look out for her in the case she ever went into diabetic shock, her dog would be able to get assistance for her.

Helps students feel more at home and secure
Bob McCabe, director of student support services, used to bring his dog to campus. “When I used to bring my dog the students used to come out of their dorms and play fetch. The students loved to play with him because it reminded them of being home at home with their animals,” McCabe said.

Dogs have a calming effect on many people
“I’ve seen the positive effects that the presence of an animal can have on students [and staff] who are stressed out, frazzled, and/or upset,” Deb Bailin, director of student academic development, said.

Accommodated schedules
There are many faculty/ staff and students who have a very busy day, and by being able to bring their pets to campus relieves stress knowing that their pet is properly being cared for. “Most of the time I brought my dog because I needed to be here for a longer-than-usual day, and I couldn’t leave my dog alone for such a long time. I live too far away to zip home at lunch time and take her for a walk, so she regularly spends at least 10 hours alone every day,” Bailin said.

There are many students that have allergies to pets
When bringing pets onto campus you do not know who you will come in contact with, and the people that you come in contact with may have allergies to pets, and for some it may be life threatening.

Pet owners not taking responsibility for their pet’s waste
“The biggest reason that pets stopped being allowed on campus was due to the waste that they created around campus,” McCabe said.

Dogs provide distractions to their owners and others around them
“I am a dog owner/ lover myself however, I would not bring my dogs to campus because of the fact that I could not properly care for them with the responsibilities that I have on campus,” Diane Tanguay, an LSC senior majoring in elementary/special education and human services, said.

While in class dogs stay in cars
Bringing pets to campus often means that while in class the pet(s) have to stay in your vehicle. There are severe risks to keeping pets in vehicles such as in the winter time, the low temperatures can cause hypothermia and in the summer when the pets are in the car they can get over heated and many times get dehydrated.

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