An advice column from c to her confidants. Feel free to send in any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Mother Matron,
The other day I got into a heated argument about emotional support and service animals on campus. I can understand the pros: despite there being no formal training or certification for these beasts, the privilege provides animals with a home and gives the human a reliable companion. However, my grievance is this: Mother Matron, college students are awful to their animals! More often than not – I speak from experience – college students do not have the time to properly train their pets (I basically live in the library). Some students allow untrained dogs to run wildly on walks, and even run in the streets! An untrained dog might run away or even die from getting hit by a car. Finally, as much as every Sewanee student loves seeing them, these emotional support animals need to stop being guests at parties. Not only are pets’ ears much more sensitive than our own, but they get extremely anxious around loud noises. According to the University of Melbourne, prolonged exposure to noise (i.e. frat houses) can lead to eardrum ruptures and sometimes deafness. While I realize this won’t stop emotional support animals from existing, I am quite annoyed with their existence.
Who? Who? Let The Dogs Out
Dear Who? Who? Let the Dogs Out,
I completely understand your frustration…animals come with multiple responsibilities that college students sometimes forget about during the process of adoption! But first, for clarification, there is a huge difference between “emotional support animals” and “service animals.” Both are assistance animals, but emotional support animals do not have access to the same amount of protection that service animals do. Service animals fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But, you are correct, according to the U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Development, emotional support animals do not need training. Yet, emotional support animals are very helpful to those that suffer from anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Pets help to minimize loneliness by improving interpersonal connections with other people. Chemicals also get released when living with a pet, which may have a correlation with having a longer life, lower blood pressure, and making fewer trips to the doctor. Yet, I do completely agree about not bringing animals to frat parties. I doubt they are having a good time chilling with “the boys.” As someone once told me: beer isn’t good for you, much less for a dog. Stop bringing them.