Students and pets don’t always mix

The gentle brown eyes of a dog, soft rhythmic purr of a cat, or cute twitching of a bunny’s nose may all seem like soothing sights to come home to, but not everyone thinks that all students mix well with animals.

“It kinda depends on the person ” if they’re responsible,” said junior Alyssa Brown. “Because some students will have animals and then have parties and give their dog beer or something ” and some people are never [home].”

Brown is the president of a volunteer organization that works for the Humane Society called “Friends of the Humane Society.”

The organization helps raise money for the Humane Society through fund raising events that they organize and they also volunteer their time at the shelter for anything it needs, such as walking the dogs or working with the animals.

Brown said that the shelter is very picky about who they allow to adopt animals because many students do not consider the time consuming and financial elements that come with owning a pet.

“Normally the shelter does not allow college students to adopt animals … the reason for this is because too many times students are unable to care for their animals or they are not allowed to have an animal,” Brown said. “The shelter has to call the place you live at. If you do not own the home/apartment, the shelter will call the homeowners to make sure you are allowed to have pets.”

However, pet owners like junior Emily Beeman, who owns a seven-month-old Australian Shepard named “Booger” and also fosters animals for an organization called “Planned Pet-Hood” – which is based out of Swanton but rides solely on foster homes – believes animals can have a good effect on students.

“I love having him, he’s just like my kid,” Beeman said. “He’s good company, he makes me happy.”

Beeman also admits that owning an animal can be a trying task but as long as students know what to expect, they should be okay.

“It’s really a big responsibility, you gotta think about it before you do it,” she said. “It’s a 15-year-commitment.”

However, in her opinion, Beeman thinks that at the end of the day, taking care of an animal is well worth the effort.

“He cheers me up ” he’s funny and makes me laugh,” she said, adding that she enjoys the responsibility.

While Beeman agrees that owning a pet isn’t a simple decision, she thinks that if students are responsible, they should be able to adopt one.

“I think that if they go through the proper screening process and the person looks responsible enough, they should let them adopt,” she said.

Brown mentioned that occasionally a student gets to adopt, but to her knowledge, it isn’t common.

“There are certain situations where they’ll let students adopt animals,” she explained, adding that graduate students or volunteer students are among the types of students they may consider.

“But for the most part, I do not believe the shelter adopts to students,” she added.

Getting an interview with the managers of the shelter is also required before adopting an animal.

“The managers are very selective and have to interview people interested in adopting pets because they do not want the pets to go to a non-loving home where they are not cared for properly,” she explained.

So while being in a college town doesn’t necessarily mean increased adoptions at the Humane Society, it has its benefit when concerning volunteer help for the shelter.

“They have a lot of students that want to volunteer,” Brown said, adding that she was one of those students who volunteered for “Friends of the Humane Society” as a freshman and has stayed with the organization since.

“Because students can’t have animals at their dorms, they can come to the shelter and help out and interact with animals,” she added.

Students also have the option of foster care for animals through the “Planned Pet-Hood” organization, said senior Stacey Dancsok, who also fosters for this organization along with Beeman.

Dancsok fosters animals because she loves them, but doesn’t know where her future will take her and whether or not animals will be permitted there.

“I don’t know where I’m going to end up after college,” she said. “It works out for me because I have the dog for a couple of weeks and then it’s adopted out to a good home.”

Dancsok also enjoys the benefit of having all the animal’s finances taken care of by the organization, and although she sometimes does get attached to certain animals she fosters, her permanent home situation in Strongsville doesn’t work in her favor.

“The only thing would be the financial situation and my dogs at home” I have a very dominant female at home,” she explained, adding that her dog wouldn’t let another into the picture.

But other than having to let go of the animals she fosters, Dancsok believes fostering can be a good alternative to students who can’t take their animals back to their permanent home or who are tight financially.

Money responsibility aside, sometimes even the small sacrifices can be frustrating at times, according to senior Sasha Donelson, who owns a small Jack Russell Terrier mix named Spanky.

“When you’re all nice and warm in bed and you see the snow falling outside, and then your dog’s breathing in your face because he has to go pee ” that can be annoying,” Donelson said with a laugh.