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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

Paws on Campus: A guide to furry companions at CSU Pueblo

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Juan Irigoyen
The Center banner located in the OSC for student support and advocacy.

There are many ways to cope with the daily struggles of life, and the challenges inherent in attending a university. This reporter can count on my family, friends and especially my little furry friends.

I am an animal lover, and pets are a big part of my life. It is depressing that I cannot see them as often as I want to, but I rest easy knowing that they are safe with my family, not to mention they are only an hour away.

Some Colorado State University students, however, have been able to bring their pets with them onto campus. One such student is Jaylinn Mcgary, a senior majoring in recreation. He got his pet (???) Rocky during summer last year. But when he brought Rocky into his apartment, he was not aware of the necessary steps needed for a student to have a pet on campus.

Justin Hiniker, director of student advocacy access and support, said the procedure to legally keep a pet on campus can take months to process, especially if one individual waits a while to start the process. To have a pet on campus, a person must register the animal as either a service animal or an ESA (Emotional Support Animal) to assist the student.

Mcgary was not fully aware about the rules, but had a backup plan anyway.

“I knew I couldn’t have Rocky in the apartment, but at that point, I was about to move off of campus anyway, so it didn’t bother me.”

Mcgary found out about the rules one day while walking with Rocky when he was spotted by an RA. That same night, he was confronted by other RAs and told he had to have the dog Rocky removed from campus.

“They gave me a time window, but I did not follow it. I was out of there in less than two weeks, it just did not seem worth it.”

Another student faced the same issue, only it was a roommate who had to deal with the repercussions.

Student Archie Wyatt says he partially put the blame on himself and his roommates because they did not take the necessary precautions to have a pet, but said they were told by his roommate’s therapist that they had the green light.

It is apparent that a lack of communication occurred in these two cases.

Hiniker said the disability services center always has its doors open for anyone who may need an animal to assist them in their education. The center tries its best to accommodate everyone’s needs if possible. They will help you even if you want to bring a miniature horse to campus. That’s right; it says so in its policies.

So if you are a student thinking about bringing a pet to campus, contact the disability services center.

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