Campus housing opens doors for service animals

Magan Benoit, Reporter

Leigh Hadaway, Editor


Junior Macie Joncas (left) and freshman Tessa Miller sit with their pets in Poland Hall.

Poland Cottage has given students a place to live on campus with their pets for the last two years. The cottage is split into two sections, with five students on one side and eight on the other, with only one animal allowed per room. Maggie Christensen is a sophomore at Berry who has lived in Poland Cottage with her cat for the last year. 

“He was an emotional support animal when I was in high school,” Christensen said.  “I didn’t have him my freshman year, so it was really hard to not have him.”

In the cottage there are cats, dogs, a rabbit and a ferret. Some of the animals are used as emotional support animals. Students who apply to live in the cottage and are chosen based on available space, with students in need of accommodations receiving priority.  

A doctor must approve students who wish to have a pet as an emotional support animal before they apply for the cottage. Emotional support animals supply therapeutic companionship.

This new living opportunity has been popular among students, with a large amount of applicants each year, but there are no current decisions on expanding pet-friendly housing on Berry College’s campus.

“It’s pretty competitive,” Lindsay Norman, assistant dean of students, said. “It’s always more than we have space for.” 

The cottage is located on main campus off of Faculty drive. Norman said it is easier for the students and pets to have their own isolated space, giving them room to move around outside. The plan is to keep pet-friendly housing to one area on campus.   

“It can provide students who might want something a little bit different the ability to have a pet,” Norman said.

Some policies in Poland Cottage are that the animals are required to stay in their owner’s room while in the cottage, and animals must be under 50 pounds. The cottage is similar to a house, because there is a kitchen, a common area and several bathrooms. 

“I wish everyone lived in houses with a bunch of other people,” Christensen said. “I think it is easier than dorms.”

While Poland Cottage houses a lot of emotional support animals, if students are required to have a service dog, there they are allowed to live anywhere on campus. Emma Chambers, a freshman, has a service dog that lives with her in Morgan Hall. 

Chambers having a service dog makes her time at Berry easier, safer and more enjoyable. 

“The dog (provides) freedom I have never experienced before,” Chambers said. 

The service dog is beneficial for Chambers, but not living in a designated pet-friendly building raises concerns.

“The only thing I am concerned about is being with people who may have an allergy to dogs or are afraid, because unlike some animals, my dog (goes) everywhere with me,” Chambers said. 

Leave a Reply