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College students and pets

April 15, 2008 | 12:09 pm

Dog Is it practical for college students to keep pets? Here are three different perspectives, the first from UCLA, courtesy of the Daily Bruin:

When Ashleigh Kaspszak packed her bags to transfer to UCLA, she had to stow some items less common to the average student, because she didn’t move alone – she moved with her two pet Chihuahuas. Kaspszak, a third-year anthropology student, is part of a small community of UCLA student pet owners. Her Chihuahuas, named Gus and Dani, require some sacrifices, but they are ultimately worth the extra work, she said.

At the University of Michigan, on the other hand, the student paper has a different take:

As students start packing up their apartments and houses next week for summer break, they're bound to leave things behind. For some, it might be a box of tattered textbooks or an old carpet. For others, though, it's a pet who didn't factor into post-graduation plans. Tanya Hilgendorf, the executive director of the Humane Society of Huron Valley, which serves Washtenaw County, said her office notices about a 30% increase in pet desertions around the time school lets out each year.

At Reed College in Portland, Ore., there's a third perspective: All dogs all the time.

Some Reed dogs spend more time on campus than most students. Some come with faculty and staff members, but most are associated with students. Some are restrained and well behaved, but others aren’t. They play, they frolic, they chase joggers, and they may even eat your food when you aren’t looking. For years now it’s been commonly accepted that when alumni die they return to Reed as Reed dogs. This theory of reincarnation is, however, difficult to prove, and, until now, definitive proof has never been offered to the Reed community.

-- Alice Short

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