I was miserably lonely in college and sneaked a puppy into my dorm the spring of sophomore year. (That dog stayed with me until she died 14 years later.) So I can relate to Kendra Velzen, who is suing her college for telling her to get rid of her guinea pig.*
According to Courthouse News Service,
"The presence of an emotional support animal provides Ms. Velzen with continued emotional support and attachment (thereby reducing symptoms of depression), physiological benefits (such as decreased heart rate), and psychological benefits (such as increased Oxytocin levels, which directly impact the sense of life satisfaction)," the complaint states.
Velzen says the college allows physically impaired students to keep service dogs and nonpredatory fish in their dorm rooms.
This is the second such case to be in the news this year. See also, Dogs in Dorms an Antidote to Stress?
For some of us, pets can provide a substitute source of connection and oxytocin. For other people (like me) a pet can be the first living being we really connect with. It can be downright cruel to prohibit them at school.
*PS My first furry pets were guinea pigs -- my parents wouldn't let me have a dog.
PPS Guinea pigs are adorable and make great pets; some people eat them.