Pets on Campus

Athena Benjamin, Writer

Whether legal or not, Linfield students have pets across the campus, helping them make it through each day.

Freshmen Sam Hawkins-Douglass brought her cat, Darius, to Linfield as an emotional support animal.

To bring Darius to school, Hawkins-Douglass had to get a letter of recommendation from the on-campus therapist and fill out an application. She then had to wait about three days for them to process and approve her application. After that, she brought Darius to the vet to prove that he was healthy and then she moved him in.

Darius has helped keep Hawkins-Douglass calm down and prevented anxiety attacks.

“He helps me fall asleep at night, just knowing that there is something there that I can trust,” said Hawkins-Douglass.

Everyone has been enthusiastic about his presence, including her roommate who is very supportive.

There is a vet in walking distance of campus, making it easy to care for Darius if a medical situation presents itself.

Resident advisor Stephanie Willis has an 11-week-old kitten, Leo, in her room to combat her anxiety.

As an RA, Willis finds that not only does Leo help with her stress levels, but she has her residents come to her dorm to destress with Leo.

Leo walks around the halls sometimes and her floormates love to see him. At the young age, he has a lot of energy and can be entertaining and soothing to watch.

While Willis is away at classes or work, she sometimes has a friend stay with Leo to keep him company.

“I honestly feel like this cat has made my life so much better and more memorable. Having an animal that I can come home to and see that they are happy to see me just relieves my stress. It’s kind of like having a family member with me,” Willis said.

An anonymous student keeps Missy, their illegal hamster, in their dorm to keep them company.

Missy stays in a spacious, homemade container underneath the student’s desk. If they need to hide Missy, there is a blanket near her home that they can quickly throw on top.

This student has had Missy since last year when the previous owner decided they didn’t want her anymore and gave her away. She has been with this student ever since.

The closest call on getting in trouble with her was when Missy escaped her container and burrowed into the dorm’s wall through the furnace. After a lot of time, effort and stress from the student, Missy eventually crawled out on her accord.

Although Missy is kept a secret, most of the student’s friends and their floormates know about her and come to hang out with her.

For students who are interested in having a pet but are worried they may not have the time to do so, hamsters are a good option, as they are easy to take care of. If you keep their food and water bowls full, clean their cages and give them room to play, they are content.