Dixie State University's Student News Source

November 25th, 2017,

Pets are a responsibility, not an accessory

Let’s face it, the moment we settle into our independent lives away from home, the feeling of loneliness comes creeping into the back of our minds. 

With so many students on campus walking side-by-side their service animals, it may seem tempting to purchase a fake emotional support animal certificate as an excuse to adopt a pet while in college. Believe me, I have been there — contemplating whether or not I should enter my debit card information just to have the certificate shipped to my apartment; however, I snapped back into reality the moment I realized I would be just another college student taking advantage of a system used to help those who actually need a therapeutic companion. 

In case you may be thinking about ordering a certificate regardless, you may want to reevaluate your priorities because Dixie State University faculty is aware of this. As a result, they have cracked down severely on those who try to use these certificates. If a doctor didn’t sign off on it, be prepared to face the consequences, like getting evicted from student housing, both on and off campus.

Aside from dealing with DSU, landlords are not so forgiving either. Those who are living in student housing, whether it is off or on-campus, can also be evicted for harboring a pet without the proper documentation because animals are not permitted on the premise. 

Now if breaking the housing rules still doesn’t deter you from adopting a pet, take into consideration the animal’s overall well-being. How many of us can honestly say we can dedicate hours every single day to our pet while in college? While not all animals require the same amount of attention, they can still suffer from separation anxiety if they’re left alone for hours on end. This anxiety can lead to interior destruction, which also factors into another issue — cost. 

After initially adopting a pet, which can exceed over $100, you also have to factor in the yearly cost of food, treats, boarding, grooming, medical visits and toys. In Michal Addady’s article, “This is how much Americans spend on their dogs,” it costs $1,641 to take care of a dog and $1,125 to take care of a cat per year. 

Aside from possibly paying to replace carpet or furniture your pet destroys, routine veterinary visits easily tack on hundreds of more dollars a year. Although it depends on the age and type of animal, veterinarians still recommend scheduling yearly check-ups and keeping vaccinations up to date. I don’t know about you, but as a working college student myself, I can barely afford my own basic needs let alone an animal’s needs. 

While pets are adorable and fun to be around, it is important to realize they have constant needs just like us. They’re not some hobby you can just put off to the side when you become busy or lack the appropriate funds to support.

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