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Pets in dorm rooms?

TheGFGTheGFG Posts: 4,450Registered User Senior Member
edited October 2011 in Parents Forum
D's roommate plans to bring her small pet rabbit to school to live in their room. We have read over all the housing policies and residential contract info. on the university website and found no reference to pet prohibitions. They must exist, of course, but D claims people do have fish and guineas pigs in their dorm rooms. So apparently smaller pets are permitted, or at least unofficially permitted.

Also, since it is a 2-room double, D feels she has less leverage for protest. When D expressed some concern over the bunny, the roommate asserted it was unfair for D to object in advance before there had been a definite problem to complain about. Yes, but it's not like the girl can easily send bunny home by plane if a problem does arise. D can't lie about being allergic to dander, since that topic had been discussed a while ago before D knew of her roommate's intentions. All I can think of is the copious pooping rabbits do and their very smelly food pellets. And if it roams around, the possible chewing damage. And the insects that might be attracted to the food and waste... EEK!

Comments?
Post edited by TheGFG on
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Replies to: Pets in dorm rooms?

  • LeftyLouLeftyLou Posts: 506Registered User Member
    What is a two room double? Do they have their own bedrooms? I guess if they don't share a room, it would be hard to object...

    My daughter's college won't allow any pets at all, not even fish.
  • parent56parent56 Posts: 7,650Registered User Senior Member
    oh yuck.. everytime my kids had a bunny we had those little flies everywhere..no matter how often we changed the litter, i wouldnt want a bunny in a dorm room
  • college_querycollege_query Posts: 2,391Registered User Senior Member
    Maybe your D should casually ask an RA or someone in the housing office what the school's policy is about having a pet rabbit - just to find out if there is a policy?

    I am aware of some schools that do allow pets of various species in their dorms, but usually there is some sort of agreement that exists with others who share the space.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Posts: 24,192Registered User Senior Member
    college query - I seem to recall that our daughters' (mutual) college has a policy in some dorms whereby each floor votes on whether small pets are allowed on that floor or not.
  • cnp55cnp55 Posts: 3,377Registered User Senior Member
    It can be *such* a mess. As a pet store retailer, who sells rabbits and their supplies, I would NEVER recommend that a rabbit live in a college dorm.

    Some questions to ask ... is the rabbit litter trained? How often do you change the litter pan? The cage? What are you using for bedding? How big is the cage and what kind of floor does it have (relates to amount of cleaning needed)? Is the rabbit neutered? Do you intend for the rabbit to be loose in the room? Will you be responsible if he chews things like the cord to my computer?

    In my shop, we aim for a no-smell environment, and are relatively but not totally successful. We use litter pans and mostly rabbit floor (grid) cages with pull out trays and change the litter pans TWICE A DAY. I will say that some bunnies are neater and less smelly than others -- but your D could have allergies to the litter and the hay necessary for the rabbit's health. And not being allergic to dogs and cats does not mean that she will not be allergic to a rabbit.

    Need more info from me? Just ask!
  • MomofWildChildMomofWildChild Posts: 16,297Registered User Senior Member
    I had an illegal cat in my dorm room freshman year. Of course, little kitty got big and I wound up taking him home. My sister said recently "College pets always wind up home with the parents." She also had an illegal cat. My son kept a cat against strict rules at the nicest private housing at Penn. He became good buddies with the maintenance staff (gave them wine etc) so they never reported him. There are awesome pictures of the black Ragdoll cat sitting in the window of the 10th floor apartment with the Philadelphia skyline in the background.

    As for bunny- if it stays in the roommate's room, I would try to put up with it.
  • ready2010ready2010 Posts: 251Registered User Junior Member
    I would have them both ask the RA to find an official answer. If it is against the rules and they are discovered what happens to the poor bunny? At my son's school they are only allowed to have non carnivorous fish.
  • ChedvaChedva Posts: 18,433Super Moderator Senior Member
    Have you already signed the contract? Do you have a copy (not on the website)? What does it say?

    I wouldn't ask the RA; they don't have any real power. I'd call the housing office ASAP and get clarification. Then I'd ask the housing office to contact the roommate and tell her of the rules.

    Don't let the roommate get away with the "It's unfair" card. That's a bully's move because everyone wants to be "fair." If your daughter doesn't want a pet in the room, she should say so. Flat out. "I'm sorry, but I don't like rabbits and I don't want one in my room/suite. It's unfair of you to bring one, and unfair to the rabbit." If the roommate brings it anyway, then go to the RA or housing office and seek mediation of the issue.

    Consider this a lesson for your daughter in learning how to be assertive.
  • college_querycollege_query Posts: 2,391Registered User Senior Member
    Pizzagirl, our Ds' school does have a policy that allows some small pets. It is a three-tiered policy: some dorms/halls do not allow any pets. Some dorms/halls are designated as pet-friendly and no vote is required. And the remaining dorms/halls allow a unanimous/anonymous vote prior to the pet's arrival to be permitted.

    Small birds, small fish, and small rodents are allowed under this policy. No dogs, cats, or reptiles are ever permitted.

    I don't know if a rabbit is considered a small rodent?

    I'm assuming on the housing interest form there was a question where a student could indicate if they did not want to live on a pet friendly hall (the ones where no vote is required). My D is terrified of birds and I can't imagine her wanting to live with one! She also had a bad experience with the longest living gerbil in the history of captive animals.

    She does love dogs, however, and looked at a school for the sole reason that their brochure had a photograph of a girl in her dorm room holding her little Paris-Hilton dog. But decided she didn't like the school enough to apply there. Plus, our English Setter is too big for their policy anyway. Luckily, she has discovered that someone in the community walks her beautiful English Setter on campus, so she gets to pet that dog on occasion.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Posts: 10,858Registered User Senior Member
    I had an illegal cat in college...my roommate got it and gave it to me as a birthday present. She lived 15 years....and survived 11 moves. My kids are living in apartments off campus and I have begged them not to get a dog.
  • turbo93turbo93 Posts: 2,308Registered User Senior Member
    As an experienced furry critter owner I would not dream of taking my beloved guinea pigs to college. They need space (figure half of a TwinXL bed minimum) and daily attention otherwise they create a health issue for the pets and for the residents. Some furry critters also make LOTS of noise and require daily cage service, weekly cleaning, fresh veggies, and so on. In an apartment it should be doable but not in a dorm.

    A friend had guinea pigs at a prestigious Ivy League school where they had sort of a veterinary HMO - for a few dollars a year free medical care including surgery. Amazing deal but again, not in the dorms.
  • sujormiksujormik Posts: 381Registered User Member
    I don't remember pets being allowed at all when I was in college! My D is highly allergic to most animals so I'm very glad to be hearing that some dorms allow pets, as she would NOT want to be in a pet-friendly place just for her health.
  • bookmama22bookmama22 Posts: 1,089Registered User Senior Member
    My daughters two roommates bought a mouse when my d was away for a weekend. While it was cute and not a huge problem, since the room was a forced triple, there was barely room for them and all their stuff. Second semester, one was rushing a sorority and was given a goldfish in a bowl by her sorority "big sister"-that was more of a problem because the bowl got kind of smelly and gross.
  • capenn15capenn15 Posts: 560Registered User Member
    Is your D at Stanford...I thought I saw that somewhere in your posts. If she doesn't, I apologize for posting this.

    Stanford Parents' Guide: Life at Stanford
    Do not bring pets, halogen lamps or candles or any kind of weapon, all of which are prohibited.
  • TheGFGTheGFG Posts: 4,450Registered User Senior Member
    Yes she is, thanks! I figured it had to be against the rules, but as I said above, rules have less teeth if the RA or other authorities don't enforce it and turn a blind eye. In her dorm last year people had pets.

    I completely agree that my D needs to be assertive and have a backbone. In this case she seems really reluctant to do that for some reason. I have a few ideas about why, but can't post on a public board now that her location has been outed by capenn, lol. I can say that she doesn't want to have a roommate conflict so early in the year.
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