Letters to the Editor

Letter: Against pets for all in dorms

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

To the Editor:

Grace Johnson’s ’19 column (“Pets should be for everyone,” Sept. 26) in yesterday’s paper was poorly thought out, insensitive and under-researched. I highlight just a few of the problems with the column:

1. “Allowing all students access to an emotional support animal would only result in healthier minds and a healthier Brown.” What about students with allergies?

2. Pets are the exact opposite of dorm decorations — they are living creatures that require a tremendous amount of responsibility. Dogs especially need exercise, socialization and space. People with dogs on campus have to be (and the ones I know are) extra diligent about meeting their animals’ needs. It isn’t just fun cuddles all the time; keeping a dog locked in a dorm room all day would be animal cruelty.

3. It’s good that Student and Employee Accessibility Services is regulating who can have a pet on campus. The University needs to know what animals are on campus and who owns them.

4. There’s a difference between missing your dog and living with a mental health disorder.

5. To use the word “excludes” with SEAS is silly. SEAS functions to make this campus more accessible for people with disabilities. It is not some exclusive club for people who want a hamster. SEAS is not discriminating against you because you want a pet and do not have a disability. There is a difference between want and need.

6. The Brown Assisted Animal Therapy program already exists — look it up on Facebook.

Charlotte Tisch ’17

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