Lock Haven University first state school to offer pet-friendly dorms


Photo Credit: (MGN Online)

Gage Goulding, Assistant News Editor

LOCK HAVEN, Pa. — Lock Haven University will become the first school in the Pennsylvania State System to offer a pet-friendly residence hall.

The university announced that when students return from winter break to resume classes in 2019, some students will have their four-legged friends in tow.

“Students who are comfortable where they live have greater success and pets are a great source of comfort to many students,” said Lock Haven University North Hall residence hall director, Emmy Borst.

Students who wish to bring their pet to campus will be able to live in the on-campus North Hall, which can accommodate approximately 200 students. The 90 students who currently live in the dormitory will have the decision to move to another hall or remain in the now pet-friendly establishment.

The move by Lock Haven follows a trend in which high education institutions are working to offer students a true home-like living environment.

“Studies show that students who feel at home on campus are the students that thrive both socially and academically,” Borst said.

Acceptable pets include:

  • Cats
  • Dogs under 40 pounds, with breed restrictions
  • Rabbits
  • Hamsters
  • Gerbils
  • Guinea pigs
  • Fish

The program does come with certain stipulations, including what the university defines as a long-term pet. In order for the pet to qualify for on-campus living, it must have been in the primary care of the resident or their family for at least three months. The university will also restrict what breeds of animals will be considered in on-campus housing.

“It is about providing opportunities and options for our students,” said vice president of enrollment management and student affairs Tyana Lange. “We want all students to be engaged and happy with their Haven experience. Allowing students to bring their pets helps them feel more at home and hopefully help them transition successfully to college life.”

During the application process, students must submit photos of the animal, current vaccination records and the certificate of spay or neuter for cats and dogs, according to a press release.

The university also said that the animals will not be permitted in campus buildings other than North Hall, and cats and dogs must remain on a leash, wearing identification and rabies tags.

Lock Haven University President, Robert Pignatello, is excited about plans to launch the program. “Introducing a pet-friendly residence hall is about increasing opportunities for our students. The Haven is a great place to live and learn — and allowing students to bring a beloved pet to campus will only enhance their residential experience. We look forward to welcoming students and their animal companions to campus in January,” he said.