Ohio Wesleyan University was recently named third among the nation’s “25 Great Small Colleges for Animal Lovers” by the website GreatValueColleges.net.
“Students are permitted to own fish or one small pet, such as a gerbil, hamster, guinea pig, mice or rat as long as they register said pet and follow the school’s guidelines,” wrote the article’s author, Gabrielle Kratsas. “In the Small Living Units (SLU) on campus, students are allowed a total of two cats or dogs.”
“You have to have the right type of living facility,” said university spokesman Cole Hatcher. “In general dormitories, you can’t have cats and dogs, but having those SLUs promotes that type of activity here on campus. Some of them in the past have been pet foster parents. You can see the students walking the dogs around campus, and letting folks know they’re available for adoption.”
“In March 2014, OWU’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity began an annual ‘Dog Days’ philanthropy event, which brought two no-kill animal shelters to campus with their adoptable pets,” Kratsas wrote. “All event attendees were asked to donate $2 toward the shelters, and animal adoption applications were available to any attendee who was interested.”
The university has a student organization called Pet Pals dedicated to helping shelter animals. Its website said: “We volunteer mostly with the Humane Society of Delaware County. We also work to raise awareness about animal issues such as neutering/spaying pets, puppy mills and animal abuse. Pet Pals hold fundraisers, food drives and other activities to help animals in need.”
Sometimes, the university offers “therapuppies” for students to pet.
“Typically during higher stress times of the academic year as we move into finals weeks, we’ll think about ways to help the students relax a little bit,” Hatcher said. “We’ve brought in dogs and puppies before to let the students breathe and enjoy themselves, and then get back to it.”
The top two universities on the list are Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and Becker College in Massachusetts.Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.