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If you are anything like me (which you probably are, considering you are reading this right now), your pet means more to you than, well, most things. It may sound corny, but I definitely consider my cat one of my best friends. When I got her during my freshman year of high school, she was only one year old, so I knew I was in for a very long time with this animal.

A unique part about my cat is she’s blind, so giving her to a farm was too dangerous (plus I’d miss her too much), giving her to a pound was just out of the question (for obvious reasons), and she was already connected to me so allowing her to stay with my family seemed like an unrealistic alternative.

Therefore, I decided to begin looking into colleges where I could bring her with me.

Here’s a list of the best animal friendly colleges just for my animal-loving friends reading this:

Eckerd College

This is an obvious addition to the list, specifically because Eckerd is one of the most loud-and-proud pet friendly campuses in America right now. They’ve been allowing pets on their campus since 1973, housing not only dogs and cats, but also reptiles, rodents, fish, and even a duck (if that’s what your heart desires).

And, as a special added bonus, as soon as you graduate, so does your pet! Each Spring, they have a graduation ceremony for outgoing pets, complete with personalized diplomas.

Eckerd College has a sweet spot in my heart, because it was my dream school for more than half a decade. It ended up not being that correct school for me, however. I highly recommend reading How To Pick The Best College For You. It’ll help you decide if a school has all the qualities you need rather than just want.

Read more about their pet policy here.

State University of New York

SUNY – Canton caught my eye, not only due to the pet policy, but also due to its array of different themed wings (only women wings, an athletic student wing, and even a gaming wing!). This sets students up to create more friends in areas where they have interests, which I wholeheartedly support.

If you have a dog, this school won’t be the best fit for you. However, for my fellow cat lovers out there, this is crazy-cat-lady heaven (in terms of college, that is). The first step is each cat must be approved by the Residence Hall Director.

Now this is the coolest part…

As soon as they’re accepted by the Residence Hall Director, and you and Mittens are all moved in, the cats in the wing are allowed to roam freely if the owners choose. That means no leash necessary within the wing!

That is definitely a policy I can get behind.

Read more about their pet policy here.

Stephens College

Stephen’s College truly prides themselves on being one of the most pet friendly schools in America right now! They even have special events set up just for their students’ furry friends, such as a costume contest during Halloween. I don’t know what can be more adorable than that.

They have also teamed up with a no-kill shelter to create an amazing program that allows students to foster animals out of their dorms! How amazing is that? Therefore, if you do not have a furry friend you are already planning on bringing, you will have the opportunity to protect countless other animals by giving them a good place to sleep until they find their forever home.

Read more about their pet policy here.

Her Survival Guide should be a community! If there is one that sticks out to you or you want to share a picture of your furry friend, start a conversation about it in the comments! I would love to hear from you!

Reed College

This one, specifically, is for those of you out there that are not keen on larger pets (i.e. dogs and cats), but cannot bare to leave behind your small friends. At this school, although they would prefer you don’t bring Patches or Mittens into the dorms, the school invites all animals with gills, or those that can be easily contained within a cage.

Of course, they put a high priority on properly cleaning the cages, which is understandable. No one in the resident hall wants to smell a dirty ferret cage.

SIDE NOTE: the title of this article is about pets living in dorms. However, upon further research, I found that if you would like to live in the college apartments rather than the dorms, Patches and Mittens are, in fact, allowed to be with you!

Reach more about their pet policy here.

Stetson University

An interesting thing about this school is that, not only do they allow a variety of animals, but they also provide an on-campus dog park, so you’ll have easy access to a space to exercise your crazy pup.

They also have a service-dog foster program that students can apply to be a part of! Here is how it works: a service dog is in need of a foster during the duration of its training, a student applies and is accepted, and the service dog gets to live in the dorm until it has “graduated” from its own school.

Unlike Eckerd College, they do, however, limit the size (no larger than 50 pounds) and breed of the dogs that live on campus, so keep that in mind if you’ve got a large dog or a dog breed that’s considered “aggressive” according to the school’s pet policy.

Read more about their pet policy here.

Sweet Briar College

This one is an interesting choice for this list, but I had to add it.

They don’t allow dogs. They don’t allow cats. Having a fish tank in your dorm is even iffy. However, they do allow horses.

Yup. Horses. Saddle up and rude that baby to Sweet Briar College, because your hoofed friends have an invitation, too. The school itself has an equestrian program; students are encouraged to compete in competitions, ride horses for recreation, and train horses. The college values the already solidified relationship between a rider and her beast, so they encourage students to embrace that connection on their campus.

Read more about their equestrian program here.

Read more about their boarding cost here.

Johnson and Wales University

This school allows pets to reside within their dorms, but this comes with a catch… this college is a little more strict on the rules when it comes to where the pets are allowed to be. However, as long as the animal is on a leash, and not in inappropriate places (like in the cafe area or in the classroom), all should be fine for you and your furry pal!

Something that I found to be extra adorable about this school in particular is that they specifically say on their website that even if you don’t have a pet, you can still live in the dorm hall that houses pets. Can you just imagine? Not having the responsibility of actually taking care of an animal, but just going next door and finding a wiener dog to play with?

Read more about their pet policy here.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Did you know MIT allows pets in their dorms? Why aren’t more people talking about this?

Currently, they only allow cats, but the cats are allowed in four dormitories on campus. That means there is probably little competition for space for you and your feline friend. In order for Mittens to live on campus, students must first get approval from the Student Government’s Pet Chair. That is simply code for the school wants to be sure you’ve neutered/spayed the cat and that they are up to date on their shots. Next, your roommate must be okay with sharing a room with a cat, too.

Read more about their pet policy here. The website wording seems intimidating, but just click “Find out more about the program” for further information.

Lees-McRae College

Not only does this school happily allow pets to stay in dorms, but they are also celebrated throughout the years, with multiple pet-friendly activities to get the animals involved in the school culture.

In order to gain access to having your furry friend in your dorm with you, this school requires that you turn in an application beforehand. More than likely, it will get accepted. They just want to be sure you’re following the rules with breed, size, and number of animals within the dorm. Which brings me to the next point to keep in mind: they don’t allow dogs above 40 pounds or dog breeds that are considered “aggressive” breeds according to the school’s pet policy, nor do they allow snakes and rodents.

Read more about their pet policy here.

The University of Northern Colorado

While, for the most part, this article isn’t in any particular order of best school pet policies to worst, this one is intentionally listed lower for a reason… While this school does allow pets to live in the dorm with students, only three floors allow pets. Therefore, there’s limited space for residents with animals, so be wary about that when applying.

Read more about their pet policy here.

And there you have it! That was ten amazing schools that allow students to live on campus with their pets!

I do want to mention that, although there are several schools listed that don’t have what everyone is looking for, or, perhaps, have stricter rules when it comes to animals living in the dorms, all of the schools listed are still great schools! If you want to apply, but don’t like the pet policy, still consider applying anyway if the school has other characteristics that you love… Never put all your eggs in one basket. Patches will understand.

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