Pets allowed in college accommodation for mental health reasons?

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M_St
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#1
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#1
Do you know if there are any colleges making exceptions to the no-pets rule, on mental health grounds?

Thank you!
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driftawaay
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#2
Report 6 years ago
#2
uh....no. there is no way you could justify having a pet in your accom with 'mental health problems'
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Star Light
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#3
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#3
Guide dogs are often stated to be the only exception. I would think it extremely unlikely for someone to have a genuine mental health condition that hinged on the presence of an animal. However, I suppose that if this very unlikely condition were to exist, and if you could prove that your health is dependent on an animal somehow, then I guess they'd maybe let you have it?
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M_St
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#4
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#4
Thanks. I know about guide dogs. I was thinking of small pets kept in a cage. They pose no harm to anyone, nor to college property, and they can be really helpful to someone who's dealing with depression or anxiety.
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#5
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#5
(Original post by M_St)
Thanks. I know about guide dogs. I was thinking of small pets kept in a cage. They pose no harm to anyone, nor to college property, and they can be really helpful to someone who's dealing with depression or anxiety.
My college regulations states 'No animals, with the exception of guide dogs, may be kept on College property', with no explanation or mention of small animals. I imagine that if a small caged pet would genuinely enable you to do your best, then an exception may be possible? I'd recommend emailing the relevant officer at your college if you're an offer holder or have a college in mind, or otherwise the University disability/health officer to see what they say. They want their students to excel, so a small request like that shouldn't be too much to ask.

Just try not to begrudge anyone who isn't initially too keen on the prospect - the first thing the Bursar will think of is a hamster escaping its cage and gnawing on some of the antique wood fittings or fabrics they've spent the last decade maintaining!
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Doones
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#6
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#6
You could take this approach - redefine it as a stuffed toy.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england...shire-28966001
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thelitking
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#7
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#7
You should take your pet. If they ask you to remove it on the basis of regulation, remind them that Lord Byron kept a bear.
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M_St
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#8
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#8
Thanks. I know of both Lord Byron's bear and the "very large cat" (that I actually met!), but I don't think these approaches would be helpful. Hopefully the Disability Resource Centre would help. Also, I've emailed CUSU.
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finpin
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#9
Report 6 years ago
#9
[QUOTE=M_St;57277231]Do you know if there are any colleges making exceptions to the no-pets rule, on mental health grounds
#
I am the mother of a student with Aspergers. She has just finished her first year and has desperately missed the company, comfort of small pets which help reduce her anxiety and sense of isolation. In her second year she has chosen to be in halls as it is so much easier for her in many ways but is again restricted with pets.

I would be very grateful if anyone could let me know if there are any universities in the UK who allow pets/"emotional assistance animals" - other than support dogs - in their halls of residence. I am looking for a university who accepts them under the "reasonable adjustments" principle in the Equality Law, as a successful precedent to give to my daughter's university.

My daughter would be grateful to keep a hamster in her room.

Are you aware that in America the law is very different? From my minimal research it seems that any animal can be registered as an emotional support animal - it does not need to be trained and can be any animal pretty much. Further, renters of accommodation, including university hallls, have to allow/consider such animals even if they have a no pets policy.

As far as I know though, in the UK it is only assistance dogs which come under the disability act.

Mother
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username1865079
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#10
Report 6 years ago
#10
[QUOTE=finpin;57881991]
(Original post by M_St)
I am the mother of a student with Aspergers. She has just finished her first year and has desperately missed the company, comfort of small pets which help reduce her anxiety and sense of isolation. In her second year she has chosen to be in halls as it is so much easier for her in many ways but is again restricted with pets.

I would be very grateful if anyone could let me know if there are any universities in the UK who allow pets/"emotional assistance animals" - other than support dogs - in their halls of residence. I am looking for a university who accepts them under the "reasonable adjustments" principle in the Equality Law, as a successful precedent to give to my daughter's university.

My daughter would be grateful to keep a hamster in her room.

Are you aware that in America the law is very different? From my minimal research it seems that any animal can be registered as an emotional support animal - it does not need to be trained and can be any animal pretty much. Further, renters of accommodation, including university hallls, have to allow/consider such animals even if they have a no pets policy.

As far as I know though, in the UK it is only assistance dogs which come under the disability act.

Mother
Which university is your daughter at?
Just wondered because 'hall' or 'hall of residence' is not a term usually used at Cambridge for student accommodation.

If she's at Cambridge, I think their pastoral care for people with mental issue is usually quite good. I'd think Asperger is what they're quite used to.

Has she talked to her tutor at her college or seeked a consultation with the university's mental health advisor?
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TurboCretin
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#11
Report 6 years ago
#11
(Original post by M_St)
Thanks. I know about guide dogs. I was thinking of small pets kept in a cage. They pose no harm to anyone, nor to college property, and they can be really helpful to someone who's dealing with depression or anxiety.
Your best option is to contact the university and ask. There is unlikely to be a specific policy on this issue, so they will probably have to judge it on a case-by-case basis (that is, if they don't flatly refuse).

If all else fails, you may be able to make a case for keeping a rabbit. See s.12 Allotments Act 1950.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Geo6/14/31
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TurboCretin
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#12
Report 6 years ago
#12
[QUOTE=finpin;57881991]
(Original post by M_St)
Do you know if there are any colleges making exceptions to the no-pets rule, on mental health grounds
#
I am the mother of a student with Aspergers. She has just finished her first year and has desperately missed the company, comfort of small pets which help reduce her anxiety and sense of isolation. In her second year she has chosen to be in halls as it is so much easier for her in many ways but is again restricted with pets.

I would be very grateful if anyone could let me know if there are any universities in the UK who allow pets/"emotional assistance animals" - other than support dogs - in their halls of residence. I am looking for a university who accepts them under the "reasonable adjustments" principle in the Equality Law, as a successful precedent to give to my daughter's university.

My daughter would be grateful to keep a hamster in her room.

Are you aware that in America the law is very different? From my minimal research it seems that any animal can be registered as an emotional support animal - it does not need to be trained and can be any animal pretty much. Further, renters of accommodation, including university hallls, have to allow/consider such animals even if they have a no pets policy.

As far as I know though, in the UK it is only assistance dogs which come under the disability act.

Mother
See my post above - if your daughter would be comforted by a rabbit then you may be able to argue that the university actually cannot stop her from having one. This is specific to rabbits (and hens).
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finpin
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#13
Report 6 years ago
#13
[QUOTE=vincrows;57888787]
(Original post by finpin)
Which university is your daughter at?
Just wondered because 'hall' or 'hall of residence' is not a term usually used at Cambridge for student accommodation.

If she's at Cambridge, I think their pastoral care for people with mental issue is usually quite good. I'd think Asperger is what they're quite used to.

Has she talked to her tutor at her college or seeked a consultation with the university's mental health advisor?
Thank you for your speedy response.

You are right it is not Cambridge but I would rather not say which university as this is potentially a criticism of their current policy and the staff there have been very supportive of my daughter in lots of ways. However, at this stage, the people in charge of accommodation are saying "no" - we did ask.

I just thought if another UK university had successfully allowed "emotional support animals" in student rooms for students with, or without, a disability, it might encourage her university to grant this under "reasonable adjustments".

We had heard that some colleges in Oxford allowed students to have cats. Is this true?

Mother
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username1865079
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#14
Report 6 years ago
#14
(Original post by finpin)

Thank you for your speedy response.

You are right it is not Cambridge but I would rather not say which university as this is potentially a criticism of their current policy and the staff there have been very supportive of my daughter in lots of ways. However, at this stage, the people in charge of accommodation are saying "no" - we did ask.

I just thought if another UK university had successfully allowed "emotional support animals" in student rooms for students with, or without, a disability, it might encourage her university to grant this under "reasonable adjustments".

We had heard that some colleges in Oxford allowed students to have cats. Is this true?

Mother
I'm not aware if there's any college at Cambridge that allow their student to keep a pet in their room, and it's quite difficult to do it discreetly as they have a bedder once a week to clean their room.
No idea about Oxford, I'm afraid. Many Cambridge colleges have 'college pet' (either official or unofficial) and some of them are cats. So maybe that's what is at Oxford too, idk,,,,
Probably you'll get some answer to your question if you post it on their forum. And maybe on other universities forums too.
This is the forum specifically for Cambridge-related topics, so I don't think you can get many useful info on other unis here.
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70716
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#15
Report 3 years ago
#15
From what I've seen, whilst therapy dogs such as those for anxiety don't have the legal status of assistance dogs in the UK, several charities train assistance dogs specifically for those with autism - I'm not sure about the specifics of this in the case of Aspergers as it's to the 'high-functioning' end of the spectrum, but here are some related links: http://www.assistancedogs.org.uk/mem...ogsforgood.org
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Doones
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#16
Report 3 years ago
#16
(Original post by 70716)
From what I've seen, whilst therapy dogs such as those for anxiety don't have the legal status of assistance dogs in the UK, several charities train assistance dogs specifically for those with autism - I'm not sure about the specifics of this in the case of Aspergers as it's to the 'high-functioning' end of the spectrum, but here are some related links: http://www.assistancedogs.org.uk/mem...ogsforgood.org
Hi, this was a 2015 thread and the original poster appears to be no longer active on TSR so I'm closing thread
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