• New program allows students to have pets in some UNCC dorms

    By: Elsa Gillis

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A new program at UNC Charlotte is allowing students to live with their cats and dogs in the dorms.

    It's part of the university's newly launched pets in residence halls pilot.

    "It actually came up from listening to students," Dr. Aaron Hart, associate vice Chancellor for student affairs, said. "A lot of our students were a little disappointed that they couldn't have pets here on campus, but if they lived off campus they were allowed to have pets."

    Hart said the pilot program allows for 25 residents to take part. Right now, only about nine or 10 students are participating.

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    But he said  it won't be like a dog park inside the dorms.

    The animals will be allowed in designated spaces at Martin Hall and Independent Greek Village Houses.

    The animals must be at least one year of age, housebroken, vaccinated and under 40 pounds. Several breeds are not allowed.

    The long list of rules of conduct include prohibited behaviors like aggressive pet behavior, pets in non-authorized areas and excessive barking.

    "Personally, as an animal person, I really like this initiative," one student told us. "It'll be interesting to see how they balance protecting students with allergies with allowing other students the other freedom to have their pets.”

    "We actually worked with the residents who owned the pets and the surrounding communities and their roommates just to make sure that everyone is on the same page and everyone is in agreement," Hart said. 

    Hart said they did a lot of research and looked at other campuses to model the program after. 

    He also said the entire dorm was alerted it would be pet friendly.

    If any issues arise, he said they'll ensure it's taken care of and all students are comfortable.

    The pilot program runs through spring 2019. He said if it's successful, it could expand to more dorms on campus.

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