Pennsylvania college offers pet-friendly dorm rooms

A Pennsylvania university is slated to become the first of its kind to offer a pet-friendly residence hall.

Lock Haven University announced that the housing option will be available to students at North Hall for the spring 2019 semester.

Students will have to submit an application for approval under the pilot program.

"Students who are comfortable where they live have greater success, and pets are a great source of comfort to many students," said Residence Hall Director Emmy Borst, who spearheaded the initiative.

In each double room of North Hall, a pet owner and roommate may live together with either one cat, one dog, or two small-caged animals.

Dogs and cats must be at least six months old and must have been owned by the student or their family for at least three months prior to applying. The university will also require photos of the animal, up-to-date vaccination records and a spay/neuter certificate for cats and dogs.

Under the program, dogs must weigh less than 40 pounds. Breed restrictions also apply, though the university has yet to publicly specify which breeds are permitted.

Animals will not be permitted in campus buildings beyond North Hall and, while on campus, both dogs and cats must be kept on a leash.

Small-caged animals allowed include rabbits, hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs. Fish are also permitted.

The school is the first among Pennsylvania's state-run colleges and universities to roll out the pet-friendly policy.

"Introducing a pet-friendly residence hall is about increasing opportunities for our students," said LHU President Robert Pignatello. "We look forward to welcoming students and their animal companions to campus in January."