The great debate

Pets in college: yes vs. no



I just want to start this out with: I am absolutely pro pets. I am so pro pets it’s not even funny. I think having a pet is essential to the childhood experience – I could not imagine growing up without my dogs. But you know what I’m not? Pro pets in college.

You know what’s great about my dogs? They have my mother, a stay-at-home mom, to take care of them all day. When they were puppies, we had enough money to neuter them, take them to the vet whenever they needed and buy them all the supplies necessary for their health and happiness.

But most importantly, we were committed to them. We bought those dogs knowing they would be a part of our family from start to finish, which you cannot say about most pets college students own.

I have watched so many people pick up a dog, cat or reptile at the pet store on a whim, thinking “Oh, this is going to be great. I’m going to have this living being that everyone is going to think is so cute, cool or whatever and it’s going to be just fine when I leave it at home all day when I go to work and school and extracurriculars! An animal loves you no matter what!”

That is true. Your college pet may love you no matter what, but the quality of life for college pets is usually pretty crappy when they spend most of the day at home alone. And it will be pretty crappy for the owner when the pet inevitably gets some illness, or requires some sort of shot, and it costs them hundreds of dollars out of pocket that they simply can’t afford on a student budget.

And that’s when these poor animals end up back at the shelter because college students tend to treat pets like they are expendable. When the going gets tough, a lot of the time the pets get going. I can name three people off the top of my head who either got rid of, are in the process of getting rid of or want to get rid of their college pets.

How is that fair to the animal that you brought into your life just to have something to call your own? I just don’t think it’s fair to make something love you, only to give it a subpar quality of life. By all means, get a pet someday. Just make sure that day you have enough time, money and energy to care for that living being you’re bringing into your world.

— Kristina Bornholtz, News Editor


I’m willing to bet most people have no idea Minnesota hosts an Internet Cat Video Festival.

And I’m sure even fewer know that more than 10,000 people attended the first one in Minneapolis back in 2012.

Three fests later, the event that started with the Walker Art Center has grown by leaps and bounds, becoming a touring event around the nation, which Animal Planet sponsors.

If that success doesn’t prove my next point, I don’t know what does. Cats are an effective form of therapy.

I’m the proud owner of two cats, Dempsey and Myla. At the end of a long day, I open the door to my house to see them looking up at me, as if they have been waiting for me to come home. And I am instantly happier.

I know this may put me in the crazy cat owner category, but having two cats in college is actually a fantastic choice. I only pay for food once every couple of weeks, and the same goes for cat litter. No more expenses. If those expenses mean I get a couple of laughs a day from their antics, I think that’s worth it.

The argument for dogs? Not so sure about them. But cats have been a low-price de-stressor, and I don’t know about you, but I certainly need that at the end of the day.

— Tyler Henderson, Multimedia Editor