When students graduate or move off campus, many will experience signing a lease for the first time and will sometimes have the option of keeping pets. Linfield is now giving the option of having cats in housing for those living in the Legacy Apartments.
The Pet Pilot Program was launched for the 2012-13 school year, effective Sept. 13.
“The cat policy was designed with two purposes in mind,” said Esperance Ibuka, area director for Residence Life, “as an incentive to increase students’ interest in the Legacy Apartments, as well as to enhance the experience of independent living that the Legacies offer, and as a study to determine the feasibility of service or therapy animals in college housing.”
While the Pet Pilot Program welcomes cats to the Legacy Apartments, it does not come cost free.
According to the Pet Housing Contract given to potential cat owners, there are two steps in the process that must be completed before a cat can enter the apartment.
Other than filling out a contract, students also must pay a non-refundable $300 pet deposit, just as they would if they were living off campus. The other condition for allowing cats in the Legacy Apartments is a veterinary verification, in which the veterinarian will check and record whether the cat has been spayed or neutered, received flea treatment, has all vaccinations and is generally in good health.
Linfield Residence Life has the power to revoke participation in this program at any time if the conditions of the contract are not met, or the care of the cat or apartment is neglected.
Also, as part of the contract, students agree to the cat being an “indoor cat” and agree that “residents will not abandon their cat at which time they no longer reside in the approved apartment, but will make every effort to secure a safe and permanent home for the animal.”
“While some students have expressed verbal interest in the program, the housing office is yet to receive any official requests to participate in the program,” Ibuka said. “We anticipate receiving requests in the near future.”
With the new option of having pets in the Legacy Apartments, the possibility of this option applying to other suburbs is out of reach for the time being.
“At this stage, it is still early to determine the expansion of this pet policy into other suburbs,” Ibuka said. “Given that it is a pilot program, we plan to run it for a couple of years before we can consider branching out to other areas.”