Written by Amanda Damon
While Alfred State College is a pet-friendly campus, there have been concerns raised by pet owners about the lack of available space to wash their dogs. Many need to seek an off-campus groomer or wash their dogs themselves in shared dorm bathrooms. This can lead to issues with roommates or suitemates, especially since the pet-friendly dorm is now being used as a quarantine building. Some students have begun to ask if Alfred State could implement a shared bath space for dog owners to use. In the search for answers to this question, Tor Echo President Kimberly Wick spoke with Professor Bliss. Professor Bliss has been teaching Vet Tech classes at Alfred State for 20 years and has been the advisor for the Opt-To-Adopt club since she began teaching here.
Professor Bliss raised potential problems for putting this idea into action, as a grooming area for animals would need to be enclosed to be safe. Potential issues include finding someone to perform upkeep, providing signup times, inserting plumbing and drains, securing a space, having someone to monitor the space when it is in use, providing towels and/or dryers, and paying for water and heat. She suggested that the R/C residence hall would be the best place for a dog wash area as that is the designated pet-friendly dorm. This space would need to be renovated but could be monitored by the RAs of the building. Maintenance costs could be covered by extra fees for the residents of R/C, as they are the ones who would be utilizing the space.
Even though Alfred State does allow pets in certain circumstances, students should be aware of the potential adverse effects of keeping a pet in a dorm room. Service and emotional support animals can be an important asset but keeping an animal for the sake of companionship alone may not be great in a dorm living situation. Animals, especially dogs, need a lot of space to be happy and healthy, so being cooped up in a dorm room may be doing more harm than good. Before bringing a pet on campus, consider if it will be the best situation for the animal and for the other people in that dorm or residence hall.