The Student News Site of Northern Michigan University

The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

Meet the Staff
Megan Poe
Opinion Editor

My name is Megan Poe and I’m an English (writing concentration) and Philosophy double major at Northern. My concurrent experience with being published in and interning for literary magazines has landed...

The North Wind Editorial Sessions
About us

The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Students should think twice before adopting pets

To many students, adopting a pet may seem like an easy solution to loneliness, stress or a broken heart. Although adopting a pet may be an amusing idea, many college students should factor in the cost of maintaining a pet before purchasing one.

The annual cost of dog ownership, according to the American Kennel Club, is about $2,500. This figure does not include the cost of a pet deposit that many renters today demand, as well as the monthly pet rent that may be included.

Many students think owning a pet will be easy, since they have roommates who are just as excited about the idea as they are and are willing to help out. Animals can quickly turn a happy house into a quarreling one.  Most roommates are excited for the first couple of weeks, or even days, until the new addition to the household sprays on a pile of clean clothes or an expensive backpack.

Students need to also be aware that when they graduate from college, they will be moving, possibly to someplace that doesn’t allow animals. What will you do with Sassy when that apartment in downtown Chicago charges as much as $100 a month for pet rent? Many students assume that their parents will take care of their animal, but is this really fair to them?

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A humane society near the University of Michigan noted a 30 percent increase in the number of dogs that are abandoned at the end of school each year.

Simply taking the animal back to the shelter isn’t the best idea. Animals become distraught after shifting from one home to another, and it’s also hard on the shelter when they are trying to find permanent homes for these animals. The older a pet gets the harder it is to place them.

Many animals that are returned to shelters that were adopted as puppies or kittens are euthanized. The Humane Society of the United States estimates that animal shelters care for 6-8 million dogs and cats every year in the United States, of which approximately 3-4 million are euthanized.

If a student is considering adopting an animal, there are options besides taking one into one’s home. Many shelters offer programs such as adopt a pet for a day. These programs are geared toward college students, allowing them to take dogs out on walks to help prevent stiff joints and knees. The cats and kittens can also benefit by getting much needed attention they crave.

Volunteer positions are also available at most humane societies for students who would like to spend some quality time with animals in need. Volunteer time may also be logged in as community service for many student organizations such as fraternities, sororities or for Superior Edge.

Students should think twice before they decide to adopt an animal, or worse yet, buy one from a puppy mill. Will you absolutely be able to afford to fix Fluff’s leg if he gets hit by a car, or will your parents be footing the bill?

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