It is not a novelty to see pets around campus. Many of us have seen students and even faculty members walk their furry animals throughout the day. From dogs to rabbits, Goshen College has it all. 

Whether it is anxiety, depression, loneliness or any other aspect that is negatively affecting one’s experience on college housing, getting an emotional support animal can have a positive impact.

Many students may have wondered how to obtain permission to bring and keep a furry friend on campus. However, it is important to note that these pets are recognized as a service or emotional support animals for students who struggle with physical or mental disabilities. 

“My dog is an emotional support animal,” Izabel Love, a senior nursing major, said. “I had to get him approved through the Academic Success Center … he brings a positive impact to my mental health.”

Love has learned that having a more laid-back pet can be advantageous.

“Hugo, my dog, is a very chill dog and is fine with sleeping all day,” Love said. “He does like chewing on bones and toys while I am doing homework. We also go on walks everyday and that tires him out so he takes lots of naps.”

Although the process of having an emotional support animal on campus involves paperwork and a visit to your family doctor or therapist, students shouldn’t be discouraged. The process is pretty straightforward. 

“I talked to Judy Weaver, who was pretty open and accommodating, about the arrangements and how the whole process looks like,” said Ana Yoder, a sophomore environmental science major. “Then I received paperwork from Judy that needed to be filled out by my therapist … Once Judy received those forms, she reviewed them with the committee and after approximately a month, I was approved and Artemis was able to come live with me on campus.”

Ana resides in the Yoder 2 dorm building with her cat Artemis.

“There are many things I love about Artemis,” Yoder said. “I go to bed and she is lying next to me; I wake up and she is purring right beside me; I come to my dorm from a long school day and she is at the window waiting for me.”

It’s just a matter of filing paperwork with your therapist, owning a pet and being willing to have your pet’s vaccines up to date, along with making sure of keeping the space in which your emotional support animal will live clean and safe. 

If you meet these requirements, you can be just like Love and Yoder and live with your emotional support animal on campus.