Most pet-friendly colleges in America

Transitioning into college life can be hard, especially when you consider the fact that you’re leaving the familiarity of home and getting a new start somewhere else. Taking a piece of home with you can help ease the emotional burden, and what better way than to move into your dorm room with your favorite pet.

Unfortunately, many colleges have strict pet policies that either do not allow any pets on campus premises or give an allowance for just a small fish tank. The good news is that there are just as many others that provide for students to bring along their pets.

If you’re not ready to leave behind your cat, dog, ferret, or whatever pet you treasure when you enroll in college, take a look into these five pet-friendly colleges.

Eckerd College in St Petersburg, Florida.

After their first semester, students at Eckerd can apply to have their pets live with them. There are eight housing facilities that are dedicated to housing pets, which ranks this college very high on the pet-friendly chart. Pets allowed include cats, dogs, rabbits, ferrets, chinchillas, large birds, and ducks, among others. Dogs and cats should be at least one year old, and should have been family pets for a while back home. Exceptions include aggressive dog breeds such as pit bulls and wolf breeds.

Pet services at the college include a biannual check by a local veterinarian. To top it all off, there’s a pet graduation at the end of every year for those pets who are leaving with their graduating owners.

Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri.

This college allows most pets anywhere on campus, and there’s a dedicated pet dorm, Searcy Hall. Students who want to live with their pets are required to apply to live in the pet dorm. There’s a pet fostering program in the institution as well, complete with a shelter. Students can take part in fostering before the pets find a permanent home. There is also a doggy daycare available to students for free.

Stetson University in DeLand, Florida.

Typically, any pet that can be allowed in a dorm is allowed here. Rabbits, fish, cats, mice, dogs, rats, and guinea pigs are some of them. There are three residence halls for this. There’s a dog park on campus where students bring their dogs to play. Pets are, however, not allowed in classrooms, and are required to be leashed when on campus. Staff members are allowed to bring well-trained pets to the office. The university also has a service dog training program where students can train and foster service dogs.

Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina.

Students here are allowed to bring a family pet to live with them on campus after two semesters. There are several pet-friendly housing units and students are required to put in an application with the student development office to be allowed to bring in a pet. Pet-friendly events in the school occur throughout the year and include a Homecoming Dog Court.

Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania.

This college has a designated pet house called Monroe Hall. It houses up to 32 students who can keep their dogs, cats, hamsters, small birds, gerbils, turtles, guinea pigs, and any other pet approved by the office of residence life. Fish, other than the carnivorous types, are allowed in all residence halls.