Feds say students can bring pets to college dorm rooms
DELAND, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
For college freshmen who suffer from separation anxiety, you may want to bring your family with you to the dormitory. The federal government says universities have an obligation to admit "emotional support" animals into school housing.
We're not talking about service animals, trained to perform tasks to assist people with disabilities, but emotional support animals for companionship and affection.
Stetson University senior Brenton Alloway says he likes the fact that pets are allowed in his dorm, Stetson Cove Apartments -- one of two dorms on campus that is pet friendly.
"You can choose when you sign up, whether you want to have a roommate who has a pet or not, and I think it's nice," he said.
Nemec Hall also allows pets, and starting next year, part of University Village Apartments will also allow furry friends. Of course, there are stipulations, like size and breed requirements, along with roommate approval.
"It was a really easy piece for us to say, 'Yes, this is something we want to do for our students!' We know it helps make the residence hall room feel like a home," said Colin MacFarlane with Stetson University.
Housing providers must offer people with disabilities a "reasonable accommodation" for emotional support animals under both the Fair Housing Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said in a notice to its regional offices late last month.
Emotional support animals require no special training or certification, but HUD said campus housing officials can ask students to show that they have a disability that is helped by having an animal around, the Wall Street Journal reports.