By Kyle Evans, Extreme Alaska
Two years ago Residence Life introduced the pet policy allowing students and faculty to have pets such as cats, dogs, and rodents in campus housing.
However there is a 50 pound weight limit on pets. “That’s because the facilities are small” said Residence Life director Laura McCollough. Certain breeds like Doberman Pinschers that are known for their aggressive behavior need special approval and proof of obedience training.
“We looked at other schools and what they allowed and worked with other animal advocacy programs and groups to get their input on what they would consider appropriate community type animals for this community. While just because it’s a type of breed doesn’t mean it’s going to be that way but we felt like let’s go with the research that’s out there and use that to start with.” said McCollough.
The cost to have a pet incampus housing is quite high as mentioned in the Sun Star’s article in May 2011. There is a $300 non-refundable fee that pays for cleaning and a $1,000 security deposit that is refundable provided that there is no damage caused by the pet.
In the two years of the program there have been no problems related to allergies. “Shockingly no I was afraid that we would but we haven’t had any complaints” said McCollough. While allergies haven’t been an issue waste disposal has been a problem as of late. “The biggest issue that we’ve had is the excrement from the dogs we have to have a clear place for that. Especially during the winter I think we need to figure out a better plan of action” said McCollough. One solution proposed by McCollough is a pet park. “One of the things we are looking at is could we have a pet park and is that an option do we have space for that is that something that students want and would the Chancellor support that.”