PCP: Sorry, no pets allowed

Katie Reule

Abbi Pittman

The following is part of a Point / Counter-Point debating whether or not certain pets should be allowed in dorm rooms.

Read the counter-point here.


Katie ReuleI absolutely love animals, especially dogs and cats. There’s just something about having a dog bound across the room to greet me when I walk in the door.

While I am all for having a dog or cat living with me, it’s simply not practical. Keeping a pet in a dorm room isn’t fair the to the animal or to the people around you.

I know plenty of students who think that having a cat, dog, hamster or bird in their dorm room would be awesome.

They want animal companions that, unlike the acceptable pet fish, are interactive, cuddly and loving.

But caring for a living creature in a dorm room isn’t something anybody should be thinking about right now – especially freshmen and sophomores, who have enough to on their plates in adapting to college culture and declaring a major.

The issue here isn’t about the university trying to deprive on-campus students of pets to love and take care of.

It’s about the complications that come with being responsible for an animal and keeping it in dorm room conditions.

Bookout writes about how cats would be fine in a suite-style dorm. However, there are still several implications.

Suite-style dorms are small – smaller than a house and most apartments. You might not think a cat needs a lot of space, but it certainly does if it’s going to exercise and play.

And cats are curious – they’ll get bored of their tiny surroundings, figure out where the door is eventually and incessantly attempt escape.

Then what if the cat litter is spread all over the floor and gets in the hallways? What if your roommate doesn’t clean up after their animal? What if your cat fights with other ones on the hall? What if they try to breed?

Awkward, right?

Rodents, reptiles, bunnies and birds might seem like they make more sense in the small space, but think about how loud and crazy many dorms get.

These kinds of animals don’t like loud noises. Just imagine their stress level. That isn’t fair to any pet.
And what about the potential for these small animals to escape? What if they get lost completely?

Personally, I’d be heartbroken.

We also have to consider our neighbors with fur allergies. Yes, a residential learning community for students with pets would be nice, but do we really have the means and resources to organize that?

Besides the fact that some people should not be allowed to own pets, adjusting dorms to cater to pet owners would create a whole new dynamic in trying to control the types of animals allowed, how they are taken care of, who cleans up after them, the noise created and so much more.

The easiest thing, it seems, is to just not bring your pet.

After all, we’re in college. Many of us already have trouble finding time to get through all our homework – imagine having to clean a cage or go out and buy pet food.

Having a pet on campus sounds great, and if it weren’t such a problem, it would be a lot of fun.

But the reality is that there are too many students and too many factors for animals to be a practical commodity in dorm life.

If you are set on a pet, get an apartment.

Reule, a junior journalism and public relations major from Charlotte, is an opinion writer.