American institutions discovered some time ago that some students appreciate the option to bring their pets to live with them in residence: MIT, SUNY, and Stephens College were among the earlier to offer the opportunity to their students.
Here in Canada, other than the feral rabbits that used to populate the University of Victoria campus, the closest thing I’ve seen is at Mount Allison University, where students established a pet-friendly residence in Carriage House. The students cared for the animals in partnership with the Moncton SPCA, and worked to find them permanent homes. Unfortunately, Carriage House was closed for the 2013 year, but Mount Allison has partnered with Therapeutic Paws of Canada to bring therapy animals to campus for a “de-stressing” event, attended by about 500 students in 2013.
“The Animal House project is a win/win initiative and possibly a first in Canada. Not only are the pets from the SPCA getting the chance to live in a home environment and gain valuable socializing skills but our students are also benefiting from pet companionship. Many students coming to Mount Allison are moving away from home for the first time. We hear from a number of them about how much they miss their pets during this first stretch at university.” -- Ron Byrne, VP Student Affairs, Mount Allison University
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