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SMC seniors to house pets

Jillian Barwick | Wednesday, August 22, 2012

This fall, Saint Mary’s seniors are not the only residents of Regina Hall South. The hall has opened its doors furry friends as well.

Senior Mara Scott, who lives in Regina South, said is thrilled to be able to spend more quality time with her cat, Oonaugh, who is named after an Irish Celtic goddess.

“At first I was planning on living in another dorm,” Scott said. “But once I heard Regina South was allowing pets to live in rooms, I was hooked. I knew I wanted to live in Regina South.”

Scott adopted Oonaugh from the Humane Society in January when the organization was waiving adoption fees.

“I own cats and rabbits at home, so having a pet all on my own was something that I really wanted and really looked forward to,” Scott said. “Oonaugh has really warmed up to me since her adoption, and she will be a great companion while we are away from home at Saint Mary’s.”

Senior Regina South resident Jess Gambill adopted a miniature pinscher from Pet Refuge when she moved into the residence hall.

“His name is Spencer, and I had been searching all summer for a perfect dog like him,” Gambill said. “He is about 10 years old, and he will be arriving at Saint Mary’s sometime next week.”

Gambill said Spencer’s training and good behavior would make him the perfect pet for dorm life in Regina South.

“I instantly fell in love with Spencer,” Gambill said. “This will be a great experience for all of us living in the dorms with our own pets. More responsibility is a good thing for seniors to take on.”

Five cats and three dogs now reside on several floors of Regina South, resident advisor Autumn Nelson said.

“The students were required to register their pets before moving in,” Nelson said. “They also had to register them with the county.”

A veterinarian from the Morris Animal Hospital is also working with the residents of Regina South, Nelson said.

“At first I was worried about smells and noises coming from the newest residents to Regina, but so far it has been smooth sailing,” Nelson said. “I can definitely tell that the animals will adapt to dorm living pretty quickly.”

Scott said she is also pleased with how the transition is going with the pets in the dorm.

“By showing the College and the students on campus that living with pets is beneficial to us and our pets, I believe that more students will want to live in Regina South with their pets in the years to come,” Scott said.

As Gambill waited for Spencer to move into Regina South as well, she agreed the hall’s new policy has been a good one so far.

“Everyone on campus has been so supportive of pets being allowed to live here,” Gambill said. “It’s a truly great feeling knowing you will have someone you can count on to be there when you get back to your dorm everyday.”