Keep dogs at real homes, not college ones

Story by Martha Landry

Now don’t get me wrong, I am beyond excited to go home for Thanksgiving to see my family but the real reason I can’t wait is … to see my dog!

She is the reason I was upset about heading to college last year and why I ever get homesick (sorry, Mom and Dad!).  I think dog lovers will agree with me when I say that the house is much emptier and lonelier without a happy, cuddly dog running around.

With this being said, I do not think that a college house is the right environment for a dog, and students who currently have or are considering purchasing a dog need to be more responsible with these decisions.

Some friends of mine recently purchased a 10-month-old Labradoodle from the Humane Society.  They were advised against it by multiple people but decided to purchase the dog anyways.  There are six men in this house, so they thought it would be fine and easy to take care of a dog if there were multiple owners.

Two days later, they threw a party where people proceeded to feed the dog alcohol and allowed the dog be tended to by drunken party attendants.  The next day they were shocked to find the dog sick and now three weeks later, the dog has been sold to a loving family who actually can take care of it.

This is not the first time I have witnessed this type of treatment to an animal in a college house, though.  Once, I saw a small dog at a party shaking to the point where it could hardly stand up because it was terrified of the loud music and hordes of people all trying to play with it.

Pets that require lots of care and attention do not belong in an environment where their owners are often gone, irresponsible
and inattentive.

We are adults now, living on our own, but this does not mean we should jump into responsibilities that we cannot handle.  The adult decision, in situations like this, is to realize that a college student cannot and should not be caring for a dog.

Without the issue of parties and the dog potentially being treated poorly, college students do not have enough time to care for a dog.  Between school, work and extra activities I personally do not know anyone who has the time to make sure a dog would have enough attention and exercise.

In addition, most college students do not have the financial means to care for a dog.  As listed on the Eau Claire County Humane Society Association website, as a low estimate, on average, a dog will cost $700 a year not including initial purchase costs or potential injuries.

The Humane Society has certain limitations, listed on their website, to attempt to make sure people who adopt their animals are responsible and capable.  For example, they must be over the age of 21, the entire household must agree to the adoption and, if renting, the landlord must give permission.  These limitations are a good attempt to make sure the animals have good owners but don’t restrict the dog from being adopted into a college house.

Like I stated, I miss my dog more than anything, but I know that I am not yet responsible enough to own a dog for myself.  Now if people wants to get themselves a rodent or fish, I have no problem with this but keep the time consuming animals, like dogs, away from the college scene.


Martha Landry is a sophomore print journalism major and Copy Editor at The Spectator.