We've compiled answers to some commonly asked questions. All policies and pet matters are under the purview of our Pet Council, made up of students and staff members. These frequently asked questions do not represent or replace the required Pet Floor Program Agreement (PDF).
1. What pets do you allow?
We welcome dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, rats, mice, gerbils, sugar gliders, guinea pigs, lizards and birds.
2. What pets aren't allowed at Stephens?
Several dog breeds, or any derivative there of, are not permitted in the residence halls for insurance reasons. Those not allowed are as follows: Pit bull, Rottweiler, German Shepard, Chow and Akita.
In addition, snakes and spiders are not allowed.
3. What rules do I need to follow?
A pet deposit must be submitted, along with a signed Pet Floor Program Agreement (PDF), recent picture of your pet, and copies of recent pet vet records. These must be submitted prior to your arrival on campus.
4. I have two pets. Can I bring both?
One pet is initially allowed per residence hall room. An additional pet may be approved by the Pet Council.
Cats and dogs must be registered with the City of Columbia (this can be done in person when you arrive in Columbia). Animals must be current on all vaccinations (vet records required). There is no weight limit. Dogs and cats must be at least 12 months old. They must also be altered prior to living on campus.
5. Where can my pet go when I'm away from my room?
Small pets (like rabbits, guinea pigs and lizards) must be kept in an aquarium or other appropriate cage or housing when their student is not in the room. Dogs are invited to attend Doggie Daycare—complete with dog runs and a place to play. If you leave your dog in your room while you're away, it must be restrained for the safety of the animal and any visitors (e.g. Stephens Facilities staff). Stephens recommends the use of animal crates or Xpens.
6. What should I keep in mind as I make my decision about bringing my pet?
It is important to consider your animal's temperament in deciding whether he/she would be a good fit in a residence hall environment. Students are responsible for ensuring that the pet they bring to Stephens will not cause a great deal of noise (e.g. barking, howling) that will disturb other residents and their pets. A three-week grace period at the beginning of the semester allows you and your pet to adjust to life in the residence hall. After this time, continued disruption can result in having to find another living arrangement for your pet (e.g. sending the pet home).
7. What if I'd like to foster a pet?
Some of our students choose to foster a pet rather than bring a pet from home. Fostering a pet involves preparing that pet for a “forever home.” You can arrange to foster a pet on your own; however, Stephens also works with a local no-kill animal shelter to provide fostering opportunities for students. This fostering program also offers an option to apply for a scholarship. (Ask your Admissions Counselor for details.)
For more information about bringing or fostering a pet, please contact the Office of Admissions at (800) 876-7207 or [email protected].