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New Dorm Policy: All Pets Allowed, as Long as You Don’t Want Them There


Photos by Daderot and Pixabay / Public Domain (Edited by MJ Kang)

The University updated its housing policy yesterday to include a new rule that all pets are now allowed in dorms. The only caveat? You can’t want them there.

Gutmann said this rule is not really so new: “Even before we officially updated the pet policy, we had been pretty lax about pets in dorms. We were aware of thousands of mice and other insects roaming free, and allowed them to continue living in dorm rooms.” She added that the policy on intentionally kept pets was always strict. “As soon as our dorm inspectors see a mouse in a cage, or with any indicator that’s the room’s owner is okay with it, they will always flush it down the toilet immediately. In front of its owner. It has always been this way,” she said.

Grover Williamson (C ‘21) said he tried to sneak his pet cat, Gonzalo, into his room in Hill. An hour after move-in, he said, Penn’s Anti-Pet Response Team had raided his room and flushed Gonzalo. Williamson has not seen his cat since, although he says has no reason to believe Gonzalo hasn't made a life for himself in the sewers.

Cindy Cornelius (W ‘20) said she had the opposite experience. When a stray cat made its home in her room, she immediately called residential services. They responded that there was nothing they could do about it. “When I told them there was a cat living in my room, they asked if I wanted it there, and I said no, of course not, that’s why I’m calling you,” Cornelius said. “They told me that since I did not at all want it in my room, there was nothing they could do.”

Some students, however, have taken advantage of the policy. “I found a rat scurrying around my room the other day,” Terrance Johnson (C’ 21) said. “I remembered Penn’s rules about pets, so I emailed them and ‘accidentally’ let them know I had brought my pet rat to campus. Before I even hung up, some type of SWAT team had broken into my room and taken the rat straight to the toilet.”