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Pet-friendly residence hall planned at Lock Haven University

LOCK HAVEN, Pa. (WNEP) -- This spring, college students in Clinton County will be able to bring a pet dog or cat to campus. Lock Haven University announced plans for a pet-friendly residence hall.

The school hopes this new opportunity will entice more students to live on campus in Lock Haven.

One visit with Lia the dachshund mix at Lock Haven University has graduate student Michelle Rauch missing her family's dog Jax.

"The worst part of leaving home for me was leaving her behind because she gets so sad every time I leave, so bringing her with me would make me feel better when I come up here, and it would make me feel more at home," Rauch said.

Students should expect to see a few more four-legged friends like Lia on Lock Haven University's campus next semester.

The university recently announced North Hall will become the school's first pet-friendly residence hall.

It's the first of its kind in the Pennsylvania state college system.

"I think it's great for our students," said residence hall director Emmy Borst. "It's a way to maybe attract some students who are on the fence. Also, a way for students to be like, 'Hey, yeah, this is an awesome experience.'"

The school is also allowing cats and some small caged animals.

"College kids love two things: animals and free food. We have one of those," said student Morgan Petrencsik.

With one animal per room and strict guidelines to follow, Petrencsik plans to adopt a gerbil.

"I think I will be less stressed. I'll be taking 18 credits next semester, but if I can find someone and say, 'Hey, can I play with your dog for the next 10 minutes?' It would be better," Petrencsik said.

"Most of them associate home with pets, so now they have an ability to have the comfort of having their pets here at school," said Borst.

The school also plans to have several events and classes for the animals and their owners.