JWU Named a Best Pet-Friendly University

Updated June 2022

Did you know that JWU’s Providence and Charlotte Campus is not only home to students, but they also house many animals? Yes, animals. In 2013, JWU officially made the step towards becoming a pet-friendly campus after realizing the demand. Since then, many students have taken advantage of JWU’s pet policy and have brought their furry friends to college with them. And JWU has been recognized by helloBARK!, a pet-informational website, as one of the best pet-friendly universities in the U.S.

Collage: Trio of students with canine buddies.  

What’s Included in JWU’s Pet Policy?

What do you need to know before bringing your pet to college with you? JWU wants to make campus a safe and comfortable space for students with and without pets, so there are rules in place for bringing pets on campus. These rules apply to both Providence and Charlotte campuses. Here’s a “ruff” overview:

Students agree to be fully responsible for their pets.

Firstly, before students move in, they have to sign an agreement acknowledging that they’ll follow the guidelines put in place for students with pets. This agreement is called the owner responsibility agreement, it clarifies that students who bring pets are solely responsible for their pets, along with their pets’ actions. There's also a $250 cleaning fee if you do not keep up with your pet.

Only certain dorms are pet-friendly.

There are only certain dorms that pets are allowed in, this is so that people who are allergic to or uncomfortable around certain animals still have spaces where they can be comfortable on campus. Two of the pet-friendly dorms are on the Downcity campus (Snowden and Renaissance), while there are two more on Harborside (Harborside Village and Harborview).

Not all pets are allowed.

In case you wanted to room with your pet black widow, there’s some bad news: Your pet cannot be poisonous or endangered, cannot be an animal that eats live animals and, if your pet is a dog, it has to be a state-approved breed. That doesn’t mean that JWU’s policy is just for cats and dogs: JWU has been home to hedgehogs, bunnies, ferrets, and more.

Benefits of Pets on Campus

It’s not surprising: One upside to bringing a furry friend along to school is that it can make the transition to college life a little bit easier. Especially during the COVID pandemic and post-pandemic, as reported by Inside Higher Ed, college students at Johnson & Wales and universities across the U.S. shared that having their pets at school helped them adjust to campus life and ease their overall anxiety.

black and white catAbigail Casagrande, who is majoring in Hotel and Resort Management, brought her cat, Peter, to JWU. She adopted him before transferring and said, “JWU’s pet policy means the world to me because I was able to keep Peter, and we have a great time living together on campus.”

But it’s more than just having your pet with you at your new “home away from home.” Abigail said, “As someone who deals with depression and a big lack of motivation, Peter helps me get up and prepare to face the day. Having to take care of him motivates me to take care of myself and I can push myself to do some things that were so difficult to handle before. I feel more motivated and happier having my best friend with me.”

Plus, during the pandemic, social interaction was limited. Abigail said that Peter kept her company during what could have otherwise been a lonely time.

Schafer Collins, MBA – Human Resources student and a graduate assistant at Snowden Hall, agreed. They told us about their 11-year-old cat Skylar: “Having him has definitely helped reduce my stress levels and keeps me grounded,” Collins said.

JWU student in dorm with cat

Advice for Having Your Pet on Campus

Collins offers 3 things to think about if you are considering bringing a pet to JWU.

  1. “Vet bills can be expensive and during college, you might want to do things that having a pet can prevent. Make sure that you can take care of yourself and the pet, you want to provide a good quality of life for both!”
  2. “It has been slightly hard as I have to find someone off campus to watch and feed him when I leave for breaks and things. While this is a challenge, I feel that having Skylar has really helped me become a more stable person and more of an ‘adult’.”
  3. “If interested in bringing a pet to campus, I highly recommend looking at the Guide to on Campus Living and the JWU Pet Community Guide.” If you are going to live on the Charlotte campus contact Res Life for more information.

All in all, JWU’s pet policy has had a positive impact on many students. It’s hard to walk around campus without seeing a student out with their pet. Bringing a pet along to campus has helped many students manage their stress and has improved their overall well-being. Having something to take care of has helped them grow into more responsible and caring people.