Time to fret over student pets

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In last Friday’s issue of the Journal, we published a feature profiling student pet owners, outlining the ups and downs of having a pet in a student household.

While there are genuine benefits that come with adopting or fostering an animal companion, the drawbacks are significant, and students should avoid adopting pets during their time at Queen’s.

Before animals are given to adoptive owners, organizations like Kingston’s Humane Society ask questions and request references.

Because these associations have scarce resources, they can’t always be certain that animals end up in proper homes. For example, they usually don’t do house inspections. Ultimately, the quality of an animal’s care comes down to those adopting it.

Having an animal friend is fun on a day-to-day basis, and for students who are wary of being away from home for the first time or are stressed, a pet can provide a welcoming atmosphere. However, the safety of adopted animals should be given as much consideration as the needs of their owners.

Some houses in the Student Ghetto are a genuine threat to health — human or animal. Student schedules are often inconsistent and behaviour can sometimes be raucous and unclean, which isn’t conducive to animal ownership.

Animals can be incredibly expensive and time-consuming. Students on tight budgets shouldn’t take on an animal; vet bills can cause financial stress and conflict.

Students who want to adopt a pet should think long and hard about the realities of providing for one, as animal ownership tends to be incompatible with the average student’s lifestyle.

— Journal Editorial Board

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