Pets. They’re our best friends, constant companions, and adventure partners. If you can’t picture your life without them, you’re in good company. That’s why leaving them behind when you transition to college can make for a tough situation.
For first-year students, college means living on campus. And campus housing isn’t equipped for pets so more than likely you’ll be seeing less of your furry or scaly family members during your first year as a student.
At CSU, we understand that pets are an important part of life. Because of this, we offer a few ways for you to spend time with pets as a Ram. Take a look at these on- and off-campus opportunities and see which may give you the pet fix you’re looking for.
#1: Pet Nights
Once a month during the fall and spring semesters our housing office coordinates Pet Night in a select residence hall on campus. Pet Nights are typically held in the evening from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., and allow students living on campus to spend an hour with pets from the community.
Upcoming Pet Night dates and times are listed on the Housing and Dining Services calendar.
#2: The dog days of finals
The week of finals and the week leading up to it can be hectic and stressful. Since pets can relieve stress and boost moods, we make it a point to give students easy access to them during this time.
Each semester, CSU teams up with therapy dog organizations to host Dog Days. Dog Days gives you a chance to hang out with therapy dogs for a few hours and de-stress. The events take place the week before finals during both the fall and spring semester, and are typically located in the Morgan Library and Lory Student Center.
#3: Local nonprofit volunteer opportunities
There are several nonprofits in the Fort Collins area that would be thrilled to have help from students just like you.
The Humane Society of Larimer County accepts volunteers for direct animal care as well as office work. The Humane Society is located 11 miles south of the CSU campus and is not on a bus route, so you’ll likely need to have a vehicle to volunteer. A volunteer training session is offered once monthly.
Animal House Rescue and Grooming is a local nonprofit which houses mostly stray or surrendered dogs. Volunteers are always needed to take dogs on walks or runs, provide customer service, and maintain the facility.
#4: The Pets Forever program
Elderly or disabled members of our community love their pets, but sometimes struggle to care for them. The CSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and dozens of area businesses have teamed up to make sure that these individuals keep their pets as long as possible by forming the Pets Forever volunteer program.
As a CSU student, you can volunteer with the Pets Forever program. Tasks include walking, grooming, feeding, and generally caring for pets of program clients. The program allows you to accumulate service learning or volunteer hours, and you can also earn college credit.
This volunteer opportunity involves more commitment than most others we’ve listed; you must have your own transportation and attend a one-hour service learning session each week. If interested, learn more about getting involved here.
Change can be ruff, but you have our support
If you’re concerned about the transition to your life in college, you’re not alone. It’s completely normal to have some guilt or loneliness regarding the separation from your loved ones — including pets.
In addition to getting involved via the methods above, talk with your loved ones before move-in and set up a plan. Consider having weekly video chats to get a glimpse of your pet(s) and let them know you’re still around. Once you arrive to campus, you can also schedule an appointment with our counselors in the CSU Health Center. They’ll provide you with tools and tips to help ease the transition.