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Warren Wilson College to become pet-friendly campus

Soon students at Warren Wilson College won’t have to leave their furry, feathered or scaly friends at home. Beginning in the fall, the college will become a pet-friendly campus.

The pet-friendly policy allows for dogs (up to 40 pounds), cats, rabbits, birds, chinchillas, ferrets, iguanas, non-venomous snakes, fish (10 gallon tank maximum), hedgehogs, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, rats and small non-venomous reptiles to live with students in on-campus residence halls.

School officials say they hope the new policy will help students adjust to college.

“Transitioning to college can be stressful. By allowing students to bring pets from home, we hope to provide a sense of home and companionship. It will help alleviate anxiety and homesickness that students can sometimes feel,” said Tacci Smith, the dean of students at Warren Wilson College. “The policy is also about making sure the pets are comfortable living on campus. We wouldn’t want an animal to have anxiety of living in a new, small place.”

A yearly pet fee will cover the building, upkeep and renewal of a pet park, pet ID tag, biodegradable bags, and  events for campus pets (and students) to enjoy.

There will be specific residence halls reserved for pets. For students who do not want to live with animals, the school will provide designated pet-free residence halls. 

Students say there is already a lot of buzz about the new policy.

“Every time we mention it on a tour, people are excited,” said first-year student Madison Sircy who works in the admissions office and gives tours to prospective students. “I think having a pet on campus will bring more happiness and joy, and also more bonding with peers who know my pet and like my pet. It will also mean more bonding with roommates over the shared responsibility of having a pet.”

The full policy is available at