Pet Friendly Dorms on Campus


Back in April of the 2022 spring semester, Nicholls State University announced that it would become the first university in Louisiana to introduce pet-friendly dorms. Now, in August, any student can live in a dorm room with their pet even if they do not have a service animal or an emotional support animal.

With a yearly $100, non-refundable pet fee that goes toward the upkeep and maintenance of the pet dorms, any returning sophomore, junior, or senior can live with their furry best friend on campus. The Pet-Friendly Living Learning Community currently resides in Raymond J. Calecas Hall.

“Most people enjoy animals and their own pets. This allows them to have that experience where they go home everyday and they have something there that loves them.

— Director of Residential Living, Alex Coad

Coad also said he believes it provides an opportunity for students that don’t have a need for an emotional support or service animal, and don’t have a diagnosis.

The Pet-Friendly LLC was originally planned to be in North Babington Hall, but due to renovations that will ultimately ensure the accessibility of the building, it was moved to Calecas Hall. Calecas Hall has plenty of green space and a fence was able to be built this semester for pets to have a place where they can be off their leashes.

As of now, there are six students with registered pets living in Calecas Hall. Each of them were required to provide veterinarian and vaccination records of their animals. Coad said, “I think that’s a great number to pilot. It allows us to work out growing pains without having such a large community to have to affect with change.”

So far, there have been no complaints from other students on campus or in Calecas Hall concerning the pets. All of the students living with their pets are sequestered toward the back of the residential hall. “They all know what they signed up for. They know that dogs bark and that’s going to happen. As those issues arise, we’re going to address them, but at the end of the day, we don’t want anyone’s animal to have to move home”, Coad said.

If an animal in the dorms does not behave appropriately and the behavior does not change, the student experience will be protected above all. According to the Office of Residential Living, they are prepared to handle each situation as they arise.

First-time freshmen are the only students who cannot live in the Pet-Friendly LLC due to the 24 credit hour requirement. According to Coad, these guidelines are set in place to allow students the time to learn how to be in college before they balance being in college while taking care of something completely dependent on them.

After Hurricane Ida, Nicholls State took in many faculty, staff and students that had animals who had no other place to go. With the necessary guidelines put in place, there were no issues with the pets living on campus. Alex Coad and Michele Caruso, Vice President for Student Affairs, realized that having a Pet-Friendly Living Learning Community could be a real possibility.

In the future, the Pet-Friendly Living Learning Community will relocate to North Babington Hall, and depending on the continuing success of the community, could involve more animals than just cats and dogs. The credit requirement could also decrease, according to Coad, but time will have to tell.

Coad said, “I think it will show other universities across the state that it’s possible and that it’s an awesome opportunity to allow students to have a more enriched, fuller experience, which is why we’re here: for the students.”

A couple students had their own opinions about the Pet-Friendly LLC. Graduating senior, Taylor Lafleur, said “I think it’s a good mental health resource, especially if you may be too shy to go to the counseling center and such. They’re here for us and we’re here for them so it’s really nice.”

Taylor Lafleur’s dog, Moa. Picture from

Lafleur said she feels comfortable knowing that her dog, Moa, remains safe in the dorm while she is in class. Per the LLC regulations, the pets cannot go into any other campus building or dorm. She hopes more students become open to the idea of pets on campus.

Octavia Sims, marine biology major, said “I think it’ll be okay, but they may have to make some more sanitary restrictions because a lot of people already have pets on campus and they don’t clean up after them very well.”

Sims said she has not yet experienced such problems at Calecas Hall and does believe having pets on campus will boost morale and make the environment more fun.

Top Songs About Pets from KNSU Radio